The new refuse hauler in the village of Johnstown will be Local Waste Services.
The company was awarded the contract for the service after a unanimous vote by Johnstown Village council members during a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17.
In discussing potential trash providers, Mayor Sean Staneart said his favorite provider was Local Waste Services and his second choice was Shackleford.
He said he was concerned Shackleford, a smaller company, was only a 7-year-old company and might not have enough necessary experiences.
"If it was for my personal business, I'd like to support the local smaller business, but this is for the entire village so we need to go with a bigger company," Staneart said.
Council members Sharon Hendren, Bob Orsini, Cheryl Robertson, and Bill Van Gundy all said they liked both Local Waste Services and Shackleford.
Robertson said she liked Local Waste Services because they already worked with other municipalities such as Hilliard. She echoed Staneart's concerns about Shackleford.
Van Gundy also agreed within Staneart's opinion and said Local Waste Services had excellent reviews.
The new contract will begin Jan. 1 and be valid for three years.
Village officials said they believe the rates residents pay for refuse collection will likely be less than the current rate.
Six months ago, the previous refuse-hauler, Big-O Refuse, was purchased by a larger company, Waste Management.
Since then, some village residents have complained they have seen a decrease in service quality, prompting the search for a potential new provider.
Concord Road update
Area residents can now celebrate seeing less orange barrels around the village.
Concord Road was scheduled to re-open Friday, Nov. 20, and the Raccoon Creek Pedestrian Bridge is completed.
Village Manager Jim Lenner said at Tuesday's council meeting he wanted to remindpeople the speed limit of the road is 35 mph and police will be patrolling to enforce the speed limit.
Johnstown Service Director Jack Liggett said he was excited about the new road.
"That road should last," Liggett said. "It was built properly this time."
In his report to council, Liggett said in order for the water plant to stay compliant with new EPA regulations, new water treatment equipment will need to be purchased sometime within the next five to seven years.
Resident Lindsey BeVier spoke to council about wanting to plant a 10-foot evergreen "Tree of Hope" in Bigelow Park.
She said she hoped the tree could become a symbol of home and stability for Johnstown.
The tree is being donated by Monroe Township and BeVier asked council for a $300 monetary donation for LED lights for the tree.
Staneart said he would like to personally foot the bill instead of asking council to pay for the lights.
Van Gundy said he thought the tree was "an awesome idea and fantastic for the community."
Lewis Main, who was elected to council Nov. 3 and will begin serving in January, said during the public comment portion of the meeting he was not pleased with the recent change in the structure of the water bills where the breakdown of the bill amount is no longer being shown.
"It shouldn't be concealed in a raw number," Main said. "
People should know what they are paying and where it's going," he said.
Teresa Monroe, clerk of council, said the village isn't hiding anything and the breakdown information is still available if people want to call the village office.
In an unsigned note addressed to council, a resident noted Johnstown streets have not been cleaned recently.
Council members stated the village's street sweeper machinery is not operational right now because of budget constraints.
Previously, council members voted not to purchase a new street sweeper because the necessary money was not budgeted.
Robertson said she had learned of residents with questions about how their property taxes are being spent.
She said they should address those questions with the Licking County auditor.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at 599 S. Main St.