Yard waste decision under fire

By Scott Halasz shalasz@civitasmedia.com

February 28, 2014

XENIA —The decision to close two yard-waste sites in Greene County by the county commissioners came under fire at their regular meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this month, commissioners announced the decision to close two of the three remaining sites, leaving only the Beavercreek location open, while shifting collection to a pair of private firms in an effort to save the county money. Several Beavercreek city council members voiced their concerns at a recent meeting and on Thursday a disgruntled resident had her turn.

“The closure of the (Xenia) Greene County yard-waste site … is not in the best interested of the residents of Greene County,” Xenia resident Dianne Caughell said as she read from a prepared statement. “The point of privatizing is for a value-added quality of life benefit. Many governing entities have privatized, but only when it does not diminish the qualify of life or have a negative impact on the people they serve. This closure does not meet those parameters.”

Caughell brought up several points including the potential for residents to illegally dump waste and for traffic jams on Dayton-Xenia Road, where the drop-off site is located. There is also a fire department and Rotary Park, which is always bustling with activity, nearby.

“This is going to be a traffic nightmare,” Caughell said. “It’s going to become an accident waiting to happen. It doesn’t sit well with the citizens who use it.”

Commissioner Tom Koogler pointed out that there will be the two private sites, which are located at 1290 East Dayton-Yellow Springs Road and 869 US 68 South and that the closings will be economically friendly to the county.

“We’re saving taxpayers money,” he said, adding that it’s everyone’s tax money, not just those who use the drop-off sites.

Koogler also said that the money being saved will be used for other things the county would otherwise have outside the budget, such as a latex paint disposal project.

“We’ll use it to do many things,” he said, adding that the private drop-off sites are getting prepared for the extra load while admitting there may be a kink or two at first.

“I’m not saying there’s not going to be a couple glitches,” he said.

The Bath Township and Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Township sites are already closed and the Xenia site at 2145 Greene Way Blvd. is slated to close for good on Saturday.

Koogler said the commissioners have no thoughts of changing their minds despite the concerns.

In other commission actions on Thursday, the board authorized county Sanitary Engineer Ron Volkerding to enter into a lease agreement with Verizon Wireless to install a cell phone tower near The Mall at Fairfield Commons. The tower will be erected on the top of an elevated water storage tank and will generate income of $1,000 per month for the county. Commissioner Tom Koogler requested numbers from other counties to see if the rent is consistent with what is paid elsewhere.

Verizon will do all the necessary work, per the lease.