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Ordinance requiring ‘bagged’ leaves, grass clippings passed on final reading after additional amendments

By Bill Short

Flag City LogoAfter additional amendments, the Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed an ordinance on final reading this week requiring ‘bagged’ leaves and grass clippings for city pickup.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Mike Caruthers and seconded by Alderman Frankie Dakin.
The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Alderman Thomas McGhee absent.
The ordinance was unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s Feb. 9 meeting. But during a March 23 special called meeting, Caruthers expressed “concerns” about it, because some “rewrites” he had been expecting were not done.
After Caruthers recited “three paragraphs” he rewrote with proposed changes, the board initially passed the amended ordinance on final reading, contingent upon the approval of City Attorney Charles Perkins.
But Perkins did not approve the changes because of some “issues” with storm water runoff. So, the board members agreed at their April 13 meeting to “reconsider” the final reading this week.
On Monday night, Perkins said he made two “corrections or additions” to the ordinance. Subsection 3 of Section 17-207 now states that no yard waste can be placed on the sidewalk, street or in a “drainage ditch or gutter,” which would interfere with storm water runoff under federal, state or local regulations.
Subsection 2 of Section 17-210 now states that it will be unlawful to place any yard waste, trash, trees, appliances or other debris on the paved surface of any street.
“I’m sure it’s going to happen,” Perkins acknowledged. “But I recommend that you, as a city, not condone that sort of activity, in case somebody runs into it or gets hurt.”
He said the city’s insurance provider also believes this is something that “we should make clear.”
Alderman Bethany Huffman cited Section 17-204, which states that grass clippings will be collected only if they are placed at curbside in the city-provided cart or in closed and tied bags weighing less than 40 pounds each.
In response to Huffman’s question, Perkins said individuals who choose to “just blow” the grass clippings “directly into the street from their yard” will be violating the storm water ordinance. He noted that the “idea” is to avoid stopping up the storm drains.
Huffman said she does not want to immediately start assessing fines against residents. And Perkins agreed that the city should “warn” and “educate” them about what needs to be done.
The ordinance amends Title 17 of the Municipal Code to allow residential refuse containers to be placed curbside in front of the house, on the grassy area between the curb and the sidewalk or at the end of the driveway for collection.
If the Public Works Department has designated an alley for collection behind the property, the container must be placed curbside at the alley.
“Curbside” is defined as the area between the curb and the street, or in the yard next to the street if there is no curb or sidewalk.
In cases where curbside protrudes into the street and becomes a hazard to traffic, the Public Works Department will inform residents that the containers must be placed in the grassy area between the curb and the sidewalk.
The location of commercial containers will be based on configuration of the property.
The Public Works Department can authorize individuals with “special needs or disabilities” to receive service without placing their containers curbside.
Residents have the option of placing appliances, yard waste and other debris, including bags of grass clippings or leaves, at curbside or on the grassy strip between the curb and the sidewalk.
Items must be placed away from structures, such as mailboxes, fire hydrants or utility poles.
If the Public Works Department determines at any time that placement at curbside is unsafe, it will coordinate with the resident for alternative placement.
For properties with a drainage ditch bordering the edge of the pavement, placement must be behind the ditch up to a maximum of 10 feet from the edge. If this is not possible, residents can contact the Public Works Department for a “suitable drop-off location.”
Individuals convicted of violating the ordinance will have to pay a penalty of up to $50. Each day that a violation continues after notification by the city will constitute a separate violation.

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May 2015
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