City Council Update: The council weighs cutting the recycling program

The council is considering abandoning the city’s recycling program for financial reasons, and they want to get feedback from residents before moving forward. The city did not pay to dump recyclable waste before the recycling market changed.

The market changed in Dec. 2017 when China announced it no longer accepts recyclable materials from the United States. This was due to poor sorting and dirty recyclable material. According to NPR, the U.S. depended on China for taking one sixth of their recycling. Since then, the scope of accepted recyclable materials has shrunk, and recycling facilities don’t accept items commonly considered as recyclable.  

According to the Finance Director Evan Nelson, it costs almost the same to dispose of regular garbage. Nelson said residents are currently paying $11.84 per month for one trash can and one recycling can. He proposed increasing the cost to $12.30 per month if the city decided to keep the recycling program.

Councilman Carl Turner and Councilwoman Cheryl Stoker want to keep recycling but Councilman Phillip Swanson has a proclivity to abandon it.  He wonders if it’s still fiscally responsible to keep the recycling program considering the cost and the reduced amount of recyclable material accepted. The council decided they want to have an open house, send out surveys, and involve the residents in making this decision. Later during public comments, Susan Clements said people still don’t know what is and isn’t accepted. “There’s an awful lot we can’t recycle.”  

The council discussed how would it affect the budget if they eliminated recycling. Evan Nelson suggested the current recycling cans could become second trash cans if this were the case. However, this would push the residents garbage bill up due to the city’s higher rate for a second trash can. The council is still deliberating if they want to lower the cost of the second garbage can and increase the cost of everyone’s first can.

Nelson said everyone might not want a second trash can. He suggested that residents could turn in the former recycling cans to the city. Swanson said residents could still recycle, but they would have to drop off their own recycling instead of having the city do it for them.

Deed restrictions for Barker Park

The council discussed adding an appropriate amount of language to the deed restrictions for Barker Park. Public utility facilities are not allowed in the park and the council wants to clarify what is and what isn’t a public utility facility. They don’t want to be scrutinized for building bathrooms or a building for a pump station to service a splash pad.

The council explained that Barker Park won’t be used as a storage yard for city assets not specifically tied to Barker park itself. They want to make sure the discussion in the future will be about if they have the money to build a project, not if they should.

Managing the public soccer fields

Ashley Smith, the AYSO Regional Commissioner reported on their successes and challenges they encountered this past year.

Smith said she wants to update the contract between AYSO and North Ogden City as far as park reservations and field layouts. She said they also face problems with other groups occupying the soccer fields during their reserved times as well as other groups painting different boundary lines on the fields they use.

AYSO pays the city a fee to reserve and play on the fields and Smith was wanting the other organizations who “piggyback” off their reserved times to pay the city for their own reservations. She also expressed her desire for the city to do something more to keep other groups from painting the fields differently. She said the different paint lines confuse players and puts more pressure on their limited volunteers.

Swanson agreed something needs to be done to address the issue of other groups using the fields during AYSO’s reserved field times. But he did not want to limit the use of their public parks.  He said he didn’t think it was fair to let AYSO basically monopolize the parks for their own organization which would restrict other organizations enjoying equal access. “I don’t know how any other sport is going to grow, but shouldn’t they have the same access to the parks that you do?”

Smith explained their struggle to get volunteers and requested to carry out a public campaign to attract volunteers from North Ogden as well as advertise for positions they need filled.

One of their successes was getting 100% of coaches and referees their Safe Haven and CDC Concussion Certifications before the spring season. They certified seven new coaches and the 50% of previous coaches and referees who had not been trained for the fall.

She said they are hoping to increase to 1,004 player participants this year from their 975 participants from the last. She said this Saturday they will have open registration booth at Wadman park. She said registration costs $82.50 per player from April to May 31. Costs will increase by $20 after June and it will cost $122.50 to register beyond July 1.

Surplus property

The council declared the property at 385 E Pleasant View Drive as surplus property after holding a public hearing. Dave Shupe from Cold Water Animal Hospital is interested in using  a piece of this surplus property for parking.

The council amended the deferral agreement for the Oak forest subdivision.

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