Furious Lake Twp. residents complain about trash situation

By Debbie Rogers, [email protected]

Residents concerned about trash pickup packed Tuesday’s Lake Township Trustees meeting.

MILLBURY — Trash talk is continuing in Lake Township.

While residents are furious about changes to refuse collection, their anger should not be directed to the township, said Trustee Richard Welling at Tuesday’s meeting.

“They abandoned us,” Welling said of Republic Services. “They have abandoned you folks and they have abandoned the trustees.”

Police Chief Mark Hummer, who is also the township administrator, said that Republic notified township officials on Dec. 16 that they will no longer do refuse pickup in the township, as of Jan. 31.

“We put this out for bid twice,” Hummer said.

Republic put in a proposal for services that did not meet the bid specifications, he said. Republic was “repeatedly” contacted “so we could talk about the discrepancies in what we were bidding, versus what they proposed.

“By state law, we couldn’t accept what they sent us,” Hummer said. “They no-bid the second time, so I asked for a three-six month extension.”

Republic countered with a six month-one year extension at a higher rate, with a four-bag limit and no unlimited pickup, Hummer said. Also, the township would be required to make up the difference between the customer count of 1,627 and Republic’s desire of 1,695.

“That would have cost the township another $18,000 a year,” he said.

If the trustees had agreed to that, they would have been entering into a contract that other companies did not have a chance to bid on, Hummer said.

“We just can’t sit here and willy-nilly hand contracts out. We have to follow state law,” he said.

Hummer said that details about how the situation unfolded is public record, and that there is much misinformation out on social media.

“There’s no reason to lie about it. We don’t like this either, but we had no control,” Hummer said.

He added that bids were initially requested in September.

Welling also said that the township does not collect any tax money for services. In the past, the township has contracted with a preferred provider, to try to give residents a good rate.

“It’s always been a contract between the resident and the carrier,” Welling said.

Steve Woodbury lamented how Lake Township will look, with possibly four different refuse companies traversing the roads all the time.

“We’re going to have garbage cans everywhere, every day of the week,” he said. “Our community sucks, that’s filthy.”

Gary Haydel asked if it was reasonable to assume it would be at least a year before another bid process for trash would be done.

Hummer said that was probably correct.

Future solutions could be to ask residents if they want a trash tax and the township could take the lead on finding a company, he said. Also, the Wood County Commissioners could implement a county-wide collection, Hummer said.

“In the future, given time, there’s got to be a better solution county-wide,” he said.

John Vanderhorst of Modern Disposal, which is in Perrysburg, attended Tuesday’s meeting to offer services to township residents.

Welling encouraged anyone who was interested in trash pick-up to attend next week’s meeting, which will be attended by four companies. Waste Management, Klumm Bros. and Rumpke are also expected to have representatives.

Also at the meeting, the trustees:

• Voted to pay $1,249 to Sutphen Corporation, Chicago, for repairs to the Sutphen engine used by the fire department.

• Hired Bailey Kayne as part-time EMT/firefighter.

• Accepted the donation from Bill Hirzel of an ADA accessible ramp and glass storage cabinets to be used in the history museum. The museum will be located in the former township building in Walbridge.

• Reappointed Steven Welling, Rick Rowland and Matthew Schober to five-year terms on the zoning commission, effective Jan. 3.

• Reelected Ken Gilsdorf as chairman and Welling as vice chairman for 2023. The trustees will continue to meet the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.

Lake Twp. residents to learn about trash collection, Code Red

Lake Township officials have set a meeting for residents to gather information about refuse collection. It will be held Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. in the meeting room of the township complex, 27975 Cummings Road.

There will also be special signup for Code Red, the system that provides information to residents regarding emergencies such as weather and Amber alerts.

Representatives from area refuse collection companies will be attending the meeting to distribute information on their services and to talk with residents who have questions.

The Code Red system will be explained with a chance for residents to sign up for participation in the free service.

The special meeting will be followed at 7 p.m. by a meeting sponsored by the Crime Prevention and Community Policing Division of the Lake Township Police Department. It will feature Wood County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Brian Boos, who will give a presentation on the criminal justice system.

Residents with questions regarding either meeting can call 419-481-6354.