KENNETT, MO (KAIT) - The Kennett City Council held a public hearing to discuss how to solve what residents say is a growing problem - trash pickup.
Kennett Fire Chief John Mallott, the code enforcement supervisor for the City of Kennett, said the purpose of the hearing was to "consider a comprehensive trash hauling plan, either by contract or working with the four licensed haulers within the city."
The four companies that serve Kennett residents are Branum's Disposal, Smithson's Disposal, L & J Sanitation and Allied Waste Services.
Kennett Mayor Jake Crafton and city council members say residents continuously complain about the amount of trash left on the streets in their neighborhoods.
"I have a place across the street from where I live that I've been picking up trash that don't belong to me, and I'm handicapped and disabled and here lately I've just been picking it up and putting it back across the street," said Debra Franks.
Rental property owners, city residents and owners of the private trash companies attended the meeting and had mixed opinions about possible solutions.
"I would love to see it hooked onto a stable bill like electricity and water, said rental property owner Diane Sledge. "Where if you have utilities on in that house you can sit your trash out on a certain day of the week and it's gone. It would put an end to all of this, people showing up in court on Wednesday and being back there six months later."
Chief Mallott says his officers have a significant amount of picture documentation of trash stored by residents under carports and on outbuildings.
"When I look at the monthly property report that maintenance officers provide we're averaging over the last four years about 635 citations per year, and that includes (October 2013). They're averaging about 635 citations to occupants or property owners for failure to have their trash hauled off," he said.
During the public comment portion of the meeting a Kennett resident asked the city council why the issue was still being considered since residents voted against a city trash service in 2009.
"The vote of the people was, ‘Heck no! We don't want this.' So, basically what this new group of council members are saying is, ‘We don't care what you think or say so we're going to do it anyway.'"
City council members explained to the people at the meeting that no decisions had been made about the issue. They said the purpose of the meeting was to find out citizens' concerns.
"We don't want to put anybody out of business. That's no where near what we're even trying to do. We're just looking for answers to try and clean the city up."
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