City eyes curbside recycling

By Kathi Bliss
Editor/POST-REGISTER

During a brief meeting on Tuesday evening, the Lockhart City Council agreed to consider providing curbside recycling for some residents of Lockhart.

The measure was suggested by District 4 Councilmember Richard Banks, who expressed concern about the possible renewal of the city’s contract with Central Texas Refuse for curbside and dumpster trash collection.

“I’m not unhappy with Central Texas Refuse’s service, but since we’re considering renewal, can we also consider the cost of curbside recycling,” Banks asked during a brief worksession prior to the regular meeting. “[Other cities, including] Georgetown and Taylor have been negotiating recycling programs. I would be in support of a service where only individuals wishing to use the service would pay for it, and I would also consider requiring citizens to provide their own buckets, so CTR doesn’t have to bear that cost.”

Mayor James “Jimmy” Bertram suggested the idea of curbside recycling has been considered before, but is not in place because it is cost prohibitive.

“I would not be in favor of passing the cost on to everyone,” he said. “We have looked at [curbside recycling] a number of times, and it’s very expensive. We have to consider our demographic and the fact that some of our customers are struggling just to pay… the current collection fee. We’ve worked hard to keep the costs in check.”

Rather than renew the contract, the council voted to table the measure until their meeting on June 16, 2009, in order to give City Manager Vance Rodgers the opportunity to research the costs of curbside recycling.

In other business:
The council heard a presentation from area resident Fred Wiegand, who has been pressing for some time for the City of Lockhart and Caldwell County to turn County Road 220 into a “southwest loop” around Lockhart, connecting FM 20 West and Highway 183.

Although some issues regarding CR 220 are under debate, including which portion of the road, if any, has been annexed into the city and how that annexation affects residential property lines in the area, Wiegand remains devoted to having the loop built.

The loop, he said, would alleviate traffic problems near Lockhart High School. He suggested if the city and county would not come to the table to discuss the loop, he would approach Texas Tollways in an effort to expand the existing county road into a private toll road.

Wiegand said he intended to make a longer presentation about the loop to the Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court later this month.

In brief news:
A local business owner approached the council to ask for their support in asking the Texas Department of Transportation to install a stoplight at the corner of State Park Road and Guadalupe Street. Rodgers reported he had spoken with TxDOT representatives about the intersection and that traffic studies in the area would be completed this summer and in the fall.

They discussed the finer points of the city’s plan to host a Texas Municipal League regional conference in July.
The council approved a change in a lease contract for property and buildings at the Lockhart Municipal Airport.

They held an executive session to discuss renewal of Rodgers’ contract as City Manager.

The Lockhart City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Glosserman Conference Room at Lockhart City Hall. The meetings are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Digital Cable Channel 10.
kathibliss@post-register.com

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