A revised trash ordinance takes effect today after it was passed by the Palestine City Council at Monday’s regular meeting.

The trash ordinance reflects what the city allows, making the law easier to enforce, according to Ron Sullivan, Palestine’s director of public works.

The revised ordinance allows the use of trash cans but outlines when they can be placed at the curb for collection.

“Any trash, whether in bags or in a trash can in bags, may not be placed out before 5 p.m. the day before trash pick up and must be removed by 7 a.m. on the day after,” Sullivan said. “As usual all trash must be out for pick up before 7:30 a.m. and must be in bags regardless if the trash is in a can.”

Sullivan stressed Allied Waste — formerly Olympic Waste — has been instructed not to collect trash if it is not bagged.

“Trash bags must be a plastic disposable bag specifically designed for trash and must be closed securely,” Sullivan said. “Bags cannot exceed 50 gallons.”

The revised ordinance states that after the specified time limit for trash pick up, trash cans have to be removed from the curb and cannot be stored where they are visible from the street.

“All racks for trash cans are not allowed under the current or revised ordinance,” Sullivan said.

He stressed the restrictions are an effort to strike a “happy balance” between supplying a needed service to the citizens and keeping the city clean.

“It is not aesthetically pleasing to see trash cans left in front of the houses every day,” Sullivan said.

The council expressed concerns about the ability to enforce the ordinance.

Warren Oakley, director of development service, explained the city will work with residents to ensure compliance.

“We will drive the city and talk to the people who are not putting their trash cans up and explain the new ordinance to them and work with them on it,” Oakley said. “We will check into complaints as well.

Monday’s meeting started with a work session at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the council’s goals and objectives for the next 18 months.

After a brief discussion of items written down by council members they listened to the department heads about their goals for the departments.

Discussed were communication for the police department and the problems that not having enough hand-held radios for the officers creates. Other issues concerned updating building codes, cemetery issues and public works projects.

The council will revisit these issues and others in subsequent work sessions.

In other business, the council:

• HEARD the city manager’s and mayor’s reports.

• APPROVED appointments to the Arts Advisory Board and Victoria Farris and Cathy Masonheimer to the Tourism Board.

• OPENED bids for water and wastewater chemicals, annual purchase of supplies contract, 12-month tire contract.

• APPROVED the following consent agenda items: minutes of previous meetings; final plat for Hamton Chase Addition; final plat for Williams Broyles addition (La Quinta Inn); designation of Labor Standards Officer of the Texas Community Development program for Murchison Street Sewer Replacement; designation of Equal Opportunity, Fair Housing Officer for the TCDP Murchison Street Sewer Replacement Project; ordinance adopting the 2005 electrical code; award bid for purchase of Road Materials; resolution authorizing application to the East Texas Council of Governments for Solid Waste Enforcement Grant; grant management contract with Kerbow and Associates and authorize the city manager to do the same.

• APPROVED an ordinance denying ATMOS Mid-Tex Division’s surcharge request.

• APPROVED “Show Cause” resolution requiring ATMOS Mid Tex Division to provided a rate filing package.

• APPROVED a resolution declaring expectation to reimburse expenditures with the proceeds of future debt.

• APPROVED a resolution authorizing the city manager to declare expectation to reimburse expenditures with proceeds of future debt.

• APPROVED Gallagher Benefit Services Consulting agreement and authorize city manager to do the same.

• HELD a closed session meeting to discuss the following items: discuss real estate acquisition Rusk School property, property located at the corner of West Palestine Avenue and West Spring Street; discuss three lawsuits, L.D. Jones versus City of Palestine, Alford versus City of Palestine, and Smith versus City of Palestine; discuss economic development project Villa, update on negotiations with economic development project KotoPulo.

• RECONVENE into open session and appointed a committee to further study the purchasing of property located at the corner of West Palestine Avenue and West Spring Street, and took no further action from closed session.

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