July 9, 2024 at 2:29 p.m.

Dunkirk trash rates will go up in August

Council approved increase


Trash collection rates are going up.

Dunkirk City Council on Monday approved increasing trash pick-up rates to $15 per month beginning Aug. 1.

Council members had discussed the potential rate increase at their last meeting. Clerk-treasurer Kara Lowe explained at that time that the city has been losing money on trash pick up. It currently charges residents the same rate-per-customer it receives from Best Way of Modoc of the service. But because the rate is based on 1,000 customers and the city averages between 950 and 970 customers, the funds coming in are not covering the overall cost.

Lowe said increasing the rate to $15 per month would cover the difference and ensure that the city would end the year in the black. 

It will also put the city in a positive position for the next couple of years, as the contracted rates with Best Way remain at less than $15 per month through the three-year agreement.

Council members Jesse Bivens, Christy Curts, Dan Watson, Donna Revolt and Randy Murphy unanimously approved the increase to $15 effective Aug. 1. That’s a 19.2% increase from the current rate of $12.58.

Also Monday, council received an update on plans for money that comes in via road cut permits. (Council put the permit system in place earlier this year in order to ensure streets are repaired properly after being cut for utility work.)

City attorney Wes Schemenaur said Lowe reached out to Indiana State Board of Accounts for advice on the issue. In order to create a non-reverting fund for the permit fees, council will need to approve an ordinance that lays out the following:

•Allowable uses for the funds. (In this case, he suggested street and sidewalk work.)

•The source of the resources. (Fees from the permits.)

•Where the money accrued will go if the non-reverting fund is ever eliminated. (He suggested the motor vehicle highway fund.)

Schemenaur said he will put together a draft ordinance. He suggested having Lowe ask the State Board of Accounts to review it before council takes a vote.

Council also heard an update from Schemenaur regarding the proposed purchase of a new radio system for first responders across the county. He said the timeline is likely being pulled back on the project — Jay County Commissioners had discussed getting a contract in place before the end of the year — because of time needed for the second phase of a study regarding towers and equipment. He said the county will likely still be looking for commitments soon regarding what entities would like to move forward with the project.

“It needs to work in every square inch of the county if they’re going to dive into it,” Murphy said.

In other business, council:

•Heard from Brock Farmer that a benefit tournament for Dunkirk Junior League will be held at the junior league fields Saturday.

•Heard from Robbins that he is still awaiting quotes for a new front door for the city building and for livestreaming equipment. Council later agreed to move forward with a previous quote from Superior Door of $4,205 if the company will honor that price. (The city originally received the quote in April.)

•Learned the city’s Community Crossings paving projects got underway Monday. They include paving Broad Street between Grand Street and Moore Avenue, Washington Street from the railroad tracks west to Indiana Street and all of Quincy Place. Robbins also noted that the city will plan to seek Community Crossings grant funds through Indiana Department of Transportation again during its spring 2025 cycle.

•Set trick or treating hours in the city for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

•Heard from Revolt that the park board will be seeking new quotes for the installation of playground equipment at Dunkirk City Park.

•Approved the following: Payment of claims totaling $257,935.42 and a $200 sponsorship for the Jay County Cancer Society Cruise In

•Learned from Robbins that officials from INDOT, Brooks Construction and others will visit the city Thursday afternoon for a final walk-through for the trails in Dunkirk City Park.

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