Trash Hauler Ordinance for Dexter Township Shelved

trash hauler ordinance
Harley Rider (right) in the middle of a spirited exchange with Carl Lesser.

An ordinance to place the Dexter Township government in a regulatory role with regard to every trash hauler serving residents township-wide was binned before it even came to a real vote.

At the most recent Dexter Township Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 18, 2016, Trustee Jason Maciejewski put forward a draft ordinance that would see the township require that trash haulers be permitted by township government in order to serve its residents.

What this would have amounted to is the township soliciting bids from trash hauling companies and choosing one based on cost and potentially other factors that would have been served the entire township. The ordinance also would have given the township’s recycling output to the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA).

“I tried to put together an ordinance that would get us through a bidding process for a single hauler with the goal of 1) reducing costs for everybody involved, 2) being less wear and tear on the roads — particularly in subdivisions, and 3) connecting with WWRA to make sure all recycle materials are getting collected,” explained Maciejewski.

His proposed ordinance was modeled after the one that Superior Township has been operating with for years now.

Superior has cut their trash hauler costs by one-third to half, according to both Maciejewski and Dexter Township Supervisor Harley Rider.

Maciejewski mentioned that one particular company operating in Dexter Township seems to raise its prices on a quarterly basis arbitrarily, which has some residents angry. He added that other residents he has spoken to are interested in curbside recycling.

While other residents have voiced concern about not being able to choose their own garbage hauler, he said that the benefits outweighed the costs.

Ultimately the board was split down the middle, resulting in the motion to put the ordinance up for a public comment period until February 29 getting blocked.

Carl Lesser, Debra Ceo, and William Gajewski opposed the draft ordinance.

“My first inclination is to say no,” Gajewski said. “It takes away people’s right to choose and i think people are wary when government tells them they are going to save them money. It think it usually creates a hole in their pocketbook.”

Gajewski was also concerned about the costs of enforcing the punitive parts of the ordinance.

Ceo said she would like to keep the management of trash hauling services to individual subdivisions.

“As far as I’m concerned, the system is working now with the competition we’ve got and it’s between the property owner and the company,” Lesser said. “Why would we want to put government between the property owner and the company?”

He added that he’d rather see an ordinance that forced township residents to cut down trees growing under power lines from their property, due to a felled tree recently causing an outage in the township during a particularly cold night.

In other township news:

With tax season upon us Dexter Township officials passed a series of yearly resolutions pertaining to property tax collection and the Board of Review.

The first resolution allows residents to mail in protests of their tax bills.

The other two resolutions dealt with income guidelines and poverty exemptions.

Screen shot 2016-01-28 at 1.59.01 AM

The proposed guidelines (above) make 100 percent relief more accessible for township residents compared to the previous guidelines (below).

Screen shot 2016-01-28 at 1.59.45 AM

There’s also a formula for reducing the exemption amount by 4 percent for every 1 percent of income above the exemption thresholds , so someone with an income 15 percent above the Dexter Township guidelines will see their relief reduced by 60 percent for a total 40 percent exemption reduction.

In the past residents have been denied total exemption outright for not being within the exemption guidelines, according to township officials.

The fact that the Board of Review can just “throw out” the exemption guidelines was brought up several times in the discussion of the matter.

Rider said that the new exemption guidelines would, in theory, reduce the number of people protesting their township property assessments to the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

All three tax season resolutions were voted on unanimously.

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