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Hot Springs Villagers Question New Trash Trucks

There are so many questions being asked regarding the new trash system. Questions should be answered by the board chairman, Joanie, and vice-chairman, Tucker. At the time of passing this project, Tucker was acting chairman of the board. The stem of misinformation could be avoided.

The information I am writing about comes from a board meeting I watched a couple of weeks ago, but can’t remember the date. It was the first time I heard anything regarding a new trash system. I found that after writing about the new trash trucks on Facebook, many people had not heard about this new system. I am sure there are many who still know nothing regarding this major expenditure.

The figures quoted will change. The contract was not acted on at that time. Interest rates quoted, and the cost of the trucks, could be different. Higher than quoted, to be sure.

The purchase of the 9200 trash carts, 64 and 96 gallons will be financed for 84 months, not to exceed $6,537.06 per month at an interest rate of 1.99% per month for a total of $512,187,17.

The first trash cart will be given to you. A second cart, if you need it, will cost you. How much, I don’t know. [*See note below.] Any trash that you have must fit in the cart or it will not be picked up.

Four side load trucks, $233,708.59 X 4, total $934,834.36. There may be a discount of $5,625.72. As per the last reported figures.

One mini rear loader, purchase price $130,000.00. This truck will pick up at the garage of those paying the extra fee. The specifics are not known at this time.

One grapple truck, purchase price $150,000.00. (picks up branches, rocks, etc. It was not stated if this was a service that will be offered to the people.

New four side loader trucks will be furnished every two years. The cost and interest rate are unknown at this time. They say time share is like giving them a blank check because you never know what the actual costs will be over time. This is a blank check that will last for years.

These figures will probably change along with the interest rate by the time a contract is signed. With the state of today’s economics numbers could be much higher. I wanted to give you an idea of the immense investment this will be.

The board stated the savings would come from having only one man on each truck. The cost for insurance and health insurance, etc., is a consideration and I am sure the board will let us know the particulars.

Aside from the financial considerations, the workings of these trash trucks need to be addressed. Will they go up and down the street for pick-up on both sides? Will some people have to take their carts to the other side of the road? Will they be able to navigate all the streets? How will people who use canes and walkers get their carts to the road or across the road? Many of these questions remain unanswered. The chairman stated that these situations will be worked out AFTER the new trucks are in service. There was no consideration for older residents discussed at the time.

There are a lot more questions to be answered, but the bottom line is this. Is this expenditure something the village NEEDS to take on at this time. The cost of fixing roads and golf courses and buildings that have been neglected for so long need our attention now. If the trash system we have now is not broken, why fix it. To keep up with the times or bigger cities, doesn’t cut it for me. I love the village the way it is. But that is a discussion for another time.

I believe the majority of the people want more input with decisions made for the village. Just electing new board members hasn’t worked. We need to find a way to have our voices heard when large expenditures of money are being spent. Our opinions and ideas are relevant and should be heard. One way conversations with the board do not constitute listening to what we think.

That is another subject for another time.

*We have received information that the second trash cart will be charged at the rate of $16.40 per month.

By Elizabeth Berry, May 29, 2021

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