The Burns Harbor
Town Council adopted its 2019 budget at its meeting last week.
Burns Harbor plans
to operate on a total of $5,718,309 next year. Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan
made two important notes. Jordan said she estimated the local road and
bridge fund 2019 expenses at about $1.3 million in anticipation that the
2019 Community Crossing grant will reimburse $1 million of that, if
Jeff Oltmanns of
Global Engineering reported that the Town’s Community Crossing grant
application is in and awards, which are a 75/25 match for paving in a town
the side of Burns Harbor, will be announced in November.
Jordan also noted
that Burns Harbor is set to acquire a new fire engine and pay in cash to
save about $200,000 in interest on a loan. The fire engine purchase will be
funded from the cumulative capital development fund.
The Council also
approved resolution 2019-10 to finalize an additional appropriation of
$50,000 to fund ambulance service run by the Town through the end of the
year. The council then approved an amendment to the salary ordinance
concerning paramedics and approved on second reading an ordinance
establishing ambulance fees. The new fees for ambulance service take effect
Fire Chief Bill
Arney also reported that a new ambulance cot will be funded with some of the
money the Redevelopment Commission put up for repairs on the existing fire
station roof and the new addition to the fire station.
Municipal Services Manager for Republic Services, gave a presentation on how
the recycling market has changed as of late.
that profits in the recycling industry have all but disappeared due to
changes in the Chinese market. China used to accept shipments of recyclables
with up to a five percent contamination rate, according to Metros, but they
recently announced a requirement that recycled material brought into the
country have a contamination rate below half of one percent as part of a new
effort to reduce pollution. China has also opted not to take “mixed paper”
anymore, which include the waxy ads in the Sunday paper. Metros said mixed
paper has historically been up to 20% of the stream of materials sent.
Metros said the
market hit a severe downturn in July 2017, but noted that all materials
recycled through Republic since have been handled properly and recycled
because “We think to do any less than that is fraud.” He did say, however,
that Republic has reached a breaking point. “As we speak today, for all
recyclables, we are paying $57.50 a ton to get rid of recyclables.”
The impact on Burns
Harbor residents: nothing right now. Burns Harbor is under contract with
Republic, and nothing will change unless a change is proposed when the
contract is up. Metros just wanted to keep the Council in the loop. He said
one solution Republic is approaching with other municipalities is the
addition of a $1.30 processing fee to the regular collection charge for
residents, so that could be in Burns Harbor’s future once the current
contract is up. Metros assured the amount of the fee could be reduced if the
market changes for the better.
Ray Poparad said the possible addition of another fee was hard to swallow,
since Burns Harbor just began to offer recycling. Metros said the key to
helping change the market is also in educating residents about what can and
can’t go in the recycle bin to lower contamination rates, and Republic is
looking to help with those outreach efforts. Council member Toni Biancardi
suggested a flyer could go out in residents sewer bills explaining what’s
going on, suggesting resources, or providing guidelines.
Police Chief Mike
Heckman announced the hiring of Austin Haynes, Burns Harbor PD’s newest
officer. Heckman also reported that Trick or Treat time for Burns Harbor
will be the same as the surrounding Diuneland communities--5:30 p.m. to 7:30
p.m. on Oct. 31.
Superintendent Pat Melton reported organized brush pick-up ends Oct. 31.
Leaf pick-up begins Monday, Oct. 22.