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|Informational Town Hall Meeting in Abingdon Gets Testy
|Abingdon city officials tried to take some of the edge off of a contentious issue with an informational meeting, but many residents who attended appear to have their minds made up.
A large group packed into the basement of the Abingdon Banking Center Monday night to hear from Mayor Steve Darmer, city council members and representatives from four refuse collection businesses interested in serving Abingdon. Residents will be voting during the April consolidated election on whether the city should provide refuse, recycling and yard waste collection and disposal services.
The issue has been met with much resistance since the city council began discussing the possibility of implementing city-wide trash collection and related services, in part, as a way to clean up properties where trash is accumulating. Not everyone in the city subscribes to a garbage collection service. Many residents who oppose the city council's proposal have said they want a choice in who picks up their trash and that they feel the city is shoving the matter down their throats.
Another issue is the cost associated with a city-wide program. Bonnie Anderson of Abingdon asked about that, and said some people can't take on another expenditure.
"There's some people that cannot afford another $15 or $20 a month, and some people that have nice jobs and big money can afford it. Some people are on a very fixed (income), unemployed, they can't afford it."
Some other residents said they would be more informed before voting if they knew how much the service was going to cost them. But there's an apparent hang-up with that. Officials with the city said they can't give a specific cost without submitting a request for proposal, something that won't happen if the residents vote the proposal down in April. Dave Schaab of Waste Management and Dominic Remmes of Millennium Waste in Milan gave some ballpark figures that ranged from $15 to $20 a month, citing the cost of their service in other nearby towns.
The meeting got tense at times. City council members were heckled as they tried to answer questions, one man nearly had to be restrained by one of two police officers in the room, and another woman used the term dictatorship to describe the council.
A large crowd filled the basement of the Abingdon Banking Center Monday night to hear information and ask questions about a proposed city-wide trash collection service that will be up for a vote in April
Abingdon resident Bill Reeder asks members of the Abingdon City Council a question during the informational meeting
(story and photos by WGIL's Mike Perry)
|02 24 09 by Newsroom
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