The Town of Ocean View will be looking into the cost of contracting with a single trash and recycling company for services town-wide.
“It’s not a new idea,” said Councilman Tom Sheeran, who brought the idea forward to the council. “It has been brought up several times prior.”
Sheeran said he was concerned about the safety aspect of having various carriers working in the town, many of whom he said speed.
“The chief sent letters to several companies about their vehicles speeding within town,” said Sheeran of Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.
Sheeran said that, in his neighborhood of Hunters Run, he has seen numerous carriers enter for only a handful of houses.
“If we had a single or designated collection for the Town, the drivers would know the area, and they wouldn’t be running all over the area looking for one spot,” he added.
He said that there could also be a reduction in noise, as well as in wear and tear on Town roads.
“If we contracted with a sole outfit, or maybe we would need two… at least it would limit the number [of trucks],” said Sheeran, adding that there could be a cost benefit to citizens. “It could be a benefit to both the Town and the citizens.”
Mayor Walter Curran said he agreed that there is a safety concern with the numerous carriers coming in and out of the town, but he also had a few concerns.
“One of the problems we’ve got right off the bat — Bear Trap has a multi-year contract with Waste Management,” he said, noting that other communities may have similar contracts. “The thing I see as the biggest stumbling block… If you create something, it has to be equitable across the board.”
Curran said he also personally doesn’t like big government and wasn’t sure the Town should get involved in such a service.
“I hate to see government expanded unnecessarily. I think this is stepping a little bit beyond what we need to do.”
Councilman Bob Lawless, who lives in Wedgefield, which has no community-wide trash service, said he wasn’t sure how the Town would go to a single-service provider when other communities may have contracts.
Councilman Bill Olsen suggested that once a community’s contract expired, the Town could work them into the Town-wide collection.
Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader told council that, if the Town were to provide a public service such as trash collection, it would have to be bid out and be awarded to the lowest responsive bidder. He noted that the lowest bid did not guarantee that citizens would have a lower trash bill. Schrader also pointed out that there may be some residents who don’t use a trash hauler and instead take their own trash to a transfer station.
Sheeran said the trash service could also entice communities to be annexed into the town.
“This was just an idea of mine. I thought it deserved some looking at,” he said.
Property owner Patty Mallon, a summer resident, said that she currently doesn’t pay for trash service at her home in The Cottages. She said two-thirds of her community is part-time residents and that she doesn’t believe the community would support Town-contracted service.
“I think you will have a lot of resistance of people paying the taxes for something they’re not getting the benefit of.”
Lawless said he didn’t think the Town should be involved in trash hauling; however, he suggested Sheeran chair a committee to investigate the cost and bring his findings back to council.
“The one thing no one can argue against is the safety aspect,” agreed Curran of Sheeran’s concerns.
Also at this week’s council meeting, Ocean View Historical Society President Richard Nippes gave the council an update on the group’s ongoing work with its historical complex.
“Our success level is beyond our wildest dreams at the present time,” said Nippes, who thanked council and Town Administrator Charles McMullen for their continued support. “I guarantee you we wouldn’t be where we are without your support… Thank you so much for all you have done.”
Building Committee Chair George Keen said the future plan for the complex includes eventually razing the garage on the Central Avenue property and building a new facility, called Halls Store.
The front of the building would look like the replica of the old Halls Store and include a meeting room and classroom, as well as a galley kitchen and restrooms.
“It lends itself to a pretty neat exhibit,” he said.
Nippes said that he hopes to have area school children visit the current historical complex this school year.
He said his granddaughter, a fourth-grader at Lord Baltimore Elementary School, had recently taken a field trip to a historical complex in Odessa.
“I’m thinking ‘Why?’ because you can walk to ours and it fits into the curriculum more,” he said. “We’re hoping they will start bringing their local students here, rather than getting on busses and taking them to Odessa.”
Keen said the building would cost between $200,000 and $250,000.
“We’ve found it’s easier to raise funds for a new building,” rather than raise funds to fix up old building, he said.
In other Town news:
• In his police report, McLaughlin stated that his department has been working with the State to have his officers carrying Naloxone, or Narcan, to administer to those suspected of having an opiate overdose.
“It’s an amazing drug,” said McLaughlin. “It has literally brought people back from the dead.”
McLaughlin said the department has responded to a number of overdose calls with, the majority of the time, officers arriving on the scene before paramedics.
Administered through a nasal spray that gets absorbed through nasal passages, McLaughlin said Narcan counteracts the opiates in the system but would not cause harm to anyone who had not actually overdosed.
“This is part of this heroin initiative that we’re trying to put into place this year.”
• November 2014 was officially declared Pancreatic Cancer Month in the Town of Ocean View, following a resolution signed by Curran. The resolution came at the request of Wilmington resident Matt Wilson, who is a pancreatic cancer survivor and volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
The proclamation states, “Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is projected to become the second by 2020.”
Curran said the proclamation “touches home,” stating that he had lost his sister and a neighbor to the disease.
• On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Town will hold its annual Caroling in the Park event, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Town Hall and John West Park. The free event will feature a face-painter, balloon artist, craft table and a special visit from Santa Claus. The evening will end with the tree lighting and caroling.
• The Town will hold its annual Homecoming celebration on Saturday, May 9, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The featured musical entertainer will be Randy Lee Ashcraft & the Saltwater Cowboys.