WEST MILTON — At their December meeting, the West Milton village council approved a resolution amending the village’s Waste Management contract, a short-term loan for the purchase of 28 Lowry Drive, and a two-year extension for the municipal manager.
Council amended the village’s Waste Management contract regarding recycling because of changing international markets and the cost of sorting out materials that can’t be recycled. Municipal Manager Matt Kline explained that recycling is changing because countries that take recyclable materials, like China, are “being very picky about what they take, if they take anything.”
The amendment will give Waste Management the ability to change the list of acceptable recyclables as needed.
Kline added that residents will need to be careful about contamination of recyclables, saying, “for example, if you’re done with the jelly jar, clean it.”
“No dirty pizza boxes with grease or anything like that,” Mayor Anthony Miller said. He advised residents that, if they’re not sure if something can be recycled, throw it away.
The village worked out an agreement that customers will not be charged extra for contaminated recyclables, but drivers may refuse to collect those items.
“Don’t be surprised, homeowners, if you see somebody opening up your recycling bin, looking at it to make sure it’s not contaminated… that it doesn’t have things that aren’t actually recycling,” Kline said.
The village has also agreed to share costs for contaminated or non-recyclable materials that exceed $35 per ton.
Council approved a short-term loan of $50,000 from Minster Bank to fulfill a promissory note of $100,000 to the owner of the former Long & Associates building on Lowry Drive.
In September, council approved the purchase of the building for $180,000 with the intention of renovating it to house the police department and other village services in a few years.
“We are having growing pains, especially among the fire and police departments. That is really the sole purpose,” Kline said. “We have the $100,000, we could just write it to them if we wanted to, but we started thinking about cash flow and cash management.”
Council also approved the village’s 2019 budget and appropriations. The 2019 budget ordinance includes a total general fund of $2,068,625 and total appropriations for all funds of $5,937,787.
“The budget reflects just slightly over a 1 percent increase from 2018. We’re holding our guns steady. Revenues are fair, so we’re keeping expenses tight,” Kline said.
The budget includes a 2.5 percent pay increase across the board for all employees and several large projects. The largest of which is a project at the wastewater treatment facility, which is budgeted for about $110,000.
Council also authorized a contract extension of two years for the municipal manager at a salary of $79,609.
Kline was hired in 2011 and his contract was extended in 2012, 2014 and again in 2016. The resolution said that he has represented the village “professionally and tirelessly” in his tenure.
Kline said he has worked in government since he was first elected mayor of his hometown at the age of 22 and added, “This is the best job I’ve ever had. As long as the council will have me, I will be here.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.