TEXARKANA, Texas — During a regular meeting Monday, a representative of Waste Management presented the City Council with three options regarding the city's recently discontinued curbside recycling service.
Waste Management could restrict curbside recycling to cardboard at the same cost to residents, continue with mixed recycling at increased cost or eliminate the service, saving residents money, said Doug Sims, Waste Management public sector solutions manager.
A month ago, Waste Management announced that it would temporarily transport residential recyclables to its New Boston, Texas, landfill because the Shreveport, Louisiana, facility that had been buying them will no longer do so. The city of Shreveport was unable to reach terms on a new contract with the company that collects its residents' recyclables, leading to that facility's decision to stop processing them, Sims said Monday.
Here, one option would be the reinstatement of curbside cardboard collection. This would not change the cost of waste removal for residents, now just under $21 a month. But it would limit what goes into a recycling bin. That option would include a six-month pilot program to involve local students in cardboard recycling efforts at public schools, Sims said.
Waste Management still does commercial cardboard recycling here.
Another option would be to continue with the mixed, or single-stream, recycling that residents have become accustomed to. It would involve reopening a local Waste Management transfer station so the company could transport recyclables to its own processing plant in Little Rock. This option would raise residents' garbage bill by about $4 a month.
The final alternative would be to discontinue curbside recycling altogether. This would result in a monthly savings of about $3 per residence.
Sims asked the Council to consider reaching an informal consensus so Waste Management can move forward with planning. Mayor Bob Bruggeman suggested that council members seek input from their constituents before the next meeting.
Development and Drainage
During a public hearing on planned development of 26 acres northeast of Richmond Road and Airline Drive, residents of the Bel Air neighborhood to the east expressed concern about the project exacerbating existent drainage problems there, as well as increased traffic on Airline.
Representing his neighbors, Gabe Tarr said they were for the development, which would comprise mini-warehouse storage units and space for retail, but wanted to work with the developer and the city on drainage issues. They fear paving the lot will increase storm runoff into the neighborhood, making already significant drainage issues there worse.
"Without proper drainage, the water's got a mind of its own," Tarr said.
He proposed a water flow analysis before work begins, an engineering study of Airline Drive, a complete grading of the property by project engineer MTG Engineering and Surveyors and quarterly project briefings to keep residents informed.
MTG representative Kayla Wood said that a detention pond planned for the property would actually decrease runoff from the site and expressed willingness to work with the city to help with the Bel Air addition's drainage problems.
After the hearing, the Council unanimously approved rezoning, a site plan and a specific use permit for the development project.
special use permits
The Council also conducted public hearings and voted to approve rezoning 2725 Page St. and granting a special use permit to allow a manufactured home; rezoning 3011 Clover Lane and granting a special use permit to allow a manufactured home; rezoning land in the 3100 block of Bender Road to allow duplexes; rezoning land in the 700 block of Ward Avenue and granting a special use permit to allow a manufactured home; and granting a special use permit for a business at 4410 Texas Blvd. to allow a permanent cosmetics business there.
During the meeting's open forum, resident Dorcas Townsend spoke against removing a downtown Confederate monument, saying it was meant to honor the mothers of Confederate veterans. It is one of only a few monuments to Confederate women, she said.
"They were to show that women were the strength of the community," she said, asking the Council to put the matter to public vote before taking any action.
In administrative comments to the Council, Deputy City Manager David Orr said citizen fundraising efforts have collected more than $25,000 toward renovation of the Beverly Community Center and proposed matching that amount with budgeted funds to make the project possible.
(The Council's next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 26.)