Public speaks out about trash ordinance

ELKHART, Ind. -- The common council held a meeting tonight to talk about charging Elkhart residents an $11.35 trash fee per month.

This ordinance also said the city will not pick up trash from mobile home parks at all.

This was the first talk about the trash that the public was allowed to sound off. The meeting lasted three hours.

One by one Elkhart neighbors took the podium to tell the council to vote no for the proposed trash pick-up fee.

A fee Mayor Dick Moore said the city cannot live without.

“It is essential to get us through 2013 and 2014 and if we do not, we will have some serious decisions to make," said Mayor Dick Moore.

But Councilman David Henke along with the people who showed up against the ordinance say the fee is not essential, if the mayor could cut out unneeded services.

“I am not sure he is looking at all the options—as you do know I had 43 cost reduction options," said Councilman David Henke (District 3).

But the mayor says he has already made some serious cuts.

“We have reduced our operating budget since I took over in 2008 by $3.3 million," said Mayor Dick Moore.

If the trash fee doesn’t pass, the Mayor says he cannot tighten the city’s money belt anymore without cutting services.

“We cannot keep doing what we are. We lost $10.5 million in property tax reductions. You cannot put that in a calculator and make it work," said Mayor Dick Moore.

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