WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday will consider discontinuing trash pickup at mobile home parks in the city starting July 1 this year.

The meeting will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. for the public via a link on the city’s website, waterville-me.gov.

Mark Tuner, director of the Waterville Public Works department, with the dual chamber packer truck city put in service in April 2018. The City Council will consider discontinuing trash pickup at mobile home parks. Morning Sentinel file photo

The council will consider eliminating trash pickup at mobile home parks, as a proposal is pending before the Planning Board to add 65 more lots to the Village Green mobile home park off West River Road. A memo to the mayor and councilors from City Manager Michael Roy and Public Works Director Mark Turner, dated March 3, says that, with the proposal before the Planning Board, now may be an opportune time to re-examine the intent of the city’s solid waste ordinance.

“The question is whether such service is a violation of the city’s solid waste ordinance because it is providing trash and recycling pickup for a commercial operation,” the memo says.

The city’s ordinance says single-family homes and apartment buildings with four or fewer units are eligible for trash collection, but mobile home parks, which are commercial operations, are not mentioned in the ordinance. Roy and Turner contend that mobile home parks are private communities with their own utilities, private roads and maintenance services.

Waterville now collects trash at Countryside and Punky Meadows mobile home parks, which have 118 and 51 units, respectively, off West River Road, as well as Pooler’s Park Way, with 30 units, off Grove Street.

In 2014 when the pay-as-you-throw trash disposal program was instituted in the city, Village Green decided to discontinue with city trash collection there and use dumpsters instead. L/A Properties, of Lewiston, owns Countryside, Punky Meadows and Pooler’s Park Way and recently bought Village Green and wants to add 65 more lots to that park.

L/A Properties has requested the city resume trash collection at Village Green — which would add the trash of 140 more homes — but Roy and Turner contend the city’s trash and recycling truck is at or near capacity now. It stops at an average of 900 homes, municipal buildings and schools daily, they say.  They say that with a conservative average of 25 pounds of trash per household, those 140 more units would add another 1.75 tons per week, at a disposal cost of about $6,000 a year.

Trash disposal for mobile home parks costs the city nearly $15,000 a year, according to Roy and Turner’s memo.

“While not a substantial amount, the real issue that must be raised and brought forward is the fact that a private commercial enterprise is receiving a publicly funded service,” it says.

In other matters, councilors are scheduled to consider referring to the Planning Board for public hearing and recommendation a request  to create a new solar farm zone in which the only permitted use would be solar farms.

Additionally, they will be asked to amend the city’s zoning map. Kevin Violette of Holmes Farm Associates is requesting that the council rezone part of a property on County Road from Rural Residential to Solar Farm District to allow a solar farm to be constructed there.

The council plans to consider taking a final vote to approve a municipal partnership agreement with the state to add a left-hand turn lane from Main Street to Waterville Commons Drive for motorists traveling north on Main Street. The city would contribute half of the $60,000 cost for the project.

Councilors also will be asked to take a final vote to approve an amendment to the public safety ordinance that would add a new section with a fee schedule for emergency medical services. The amendment is needed because the fire department plans to start a backup ambulance service. The fee schedule would become effective May 1.

The council will consider authorizing Roy to advertise, for sale, three single-family homes the city acquired through non-payment of taxes. The homes are at 3 Abbott St., 4 Union Place and 70 Violette Ave. The assessed value of the Violette Avenue property, which the city describes as in poor condition, is $75,400; the assessed value of the Abbott Street home, which is in very poor condition, is $71,000; and that of the Union Place house, which is in good condition, is $76,300.

Councilors also plan to consider amending the city’s personnel ordinance to add language changes.

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