September 17, 2014

Trash debate continues in Arenac Township

Posted

ARENAC TOWNSHIP — Although trash collection in Arenac Township has begun, some residents are still at issue with the service and its implementation.

At the Feb. 4 township meeting, Michelle Mackenzie, the Arenac Township treasurer and assessor, shared a statement from the Michigan Township Association regarding the trash collection.

The MTA statement said that residents do not “have the ability to petition for a referendum on a special assessment.”

“It’s a done deal,” Mackenzie said.

The statement also cited MCL 41.723, which states that a township board can carry out an improvement unless there are written objections filed at or before a meeting set by the board to hear objections.

More than two years ago, when the trash collection issue first began, Mackenzie said the board had an open meeting with three garbage companies, but only one resident came. She said the board put a survey together to get responses from residents on trash collection, and the board again had open meetings to hear opinions from residents.

The trash collection, which began Jan. 1, costs about $113 per parcel per year and is handled by Sunrise Disposal. Mackenzie said the cost is much less than what she was initially paying for trash collection, which was about $328 per year.

Arenac Township resident Glen Rice petitioned for the right of referendum, which would force a townshipwide vote on the trash pickup.

“The required information concerning the issue in a timely manner was absent from the board’s actions,” Rice said.

Rice also said that people were coming to him during the time of the petition and asking about a recall, and those who are still interested can talk to him about what to do.

“The board knows they do not have the support they claim,” Rice said.

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