Three people spoke about different topics they have concerns about during the public comment section of the Chariton City Council meeting Monday, March 16.

Each person was allowed up to three minutes to speak and the first person to speak was former Chariton City Council member, Ruth Smith, who spoke about recycling. Smith read off five questions she had regarding recycling to the council. They were as follows:

1. If you (the council) vote to have recycling bins at homes in town, do I have to take it (the bin)?

2. If I have to take it (the bin), do I have to take the garbage hauler that is supplying the bin?

3. If I don’t want the recycling bin and want to keep the garbage hauler I have, can I do this?

4. So, in other words, the choice of garbage haulers is taken away?

5. Have you discussed the cost of adding on a recycling bin?

Chariton Mayor Denny Bisgard commented that the city council hasn’t addressed any of these things Smith was asking about.

“I think that before you make a decision on having recycling bins at homes in town, you may need to think of whether taking away choice is the best option. I’m a firm believer in choice. Taking away choice isn’t going to go down very well in the community,” Smith said.

Since what Smith spoke about wasn’t on the agenda for the March 16 meeting, no action could be taken on these items at that time. The council was going to address the questions Smith asked at a work session scheduled for Monday, March 23, but that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The council will however discuss the questions Smith asked at a later date.

Rod Mumford of Chariton spoke next about his concern about the current condition and upkeep of Lake Ellis and Lake Morris. Mumford also spoke about this at the Chariton Water Board meeting March 9.

Mumford said that the two lakes used to be maintained while the Chariton Water Plant was still in use, but that the condition of the lakes has deteriorated a lot since the water plant is no longer used. The water plant was closed down after the switchover to Rathbun Regional Water in late August 2018.

“I was wondering what the plans for the city lakes are?” Mumford asked the council.

“The operation of Lake Ellis and Lake Morris currently belongs to the Chariton Water Department until they turn the operation of the lakes over to the City of Chariton. The water department has to take all of their stuff out of the water plant property including any equipment or machines they have there, then they will turn over the operation of the lakes to the city,” Mayor Bisgard said.

Mayor Bisgard said the city has had no meetings to this point to determine the use of the lakes after the Chariton Water Department turns over the operation of the lakes to the City of Chariton.

Billy Rice of Chariton spoke next and had a question regarding Phase III of the Ilion Trail project, which will run from 12th Street to Main Street on Ilion Avenue.

Construction on Phase III hasn’t started yet, but when it’s completed Rice asked if he and the City of Chariton could come up with an exemption or agreement for when part or portions of a vehicle are parked on the trail itself, that the driver or owner of the vehicle won’t be cited. Rice is the pastor of Bible Holiness Church in Chariton and the church parsonage where he lives at 1018 Ilion Avenue is right where the trail will be going through.

“We usually have company at different times and if portions of someone’s vehicle were parked on the trail, we don’t want anyone to get in trouble,” Rice said.

At the public hearing held on eminent domain for Phase III of the Ilion Trail project last October, Rice told the council that the trail will cut right through their front yard and into their driveway. The way their driveway is constructed, they would lose 17 feet of usable space from where the driveway comes off the road to where the edge of the trail would be going south.

Read the March 24, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader for the rest of the story.

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