60K bags provided for leaf collection

SALEM – City residents won’t have to buy bags for their leaves this year since the recycling district donated 60,000 paper leaf bags to the city for leaf collection this fall.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst explained the new program to city council members at their meeting Tuesday night before they passed a resolution to accept the gift from CCH Environmental, formerly known as the Carroll Columbiana Harrison Solid Waste District.

“We’re going to be the model program,” he said, with the district setting up the distribution of the bags and promoting the effort which is taking place in Salem first.

Kenst thanked the city utilities department for setting up a coupon that will be placed in the water bills property owners can use to receive 20 free paper leaf bags. Multiple days will be scheduled for the distributions, which will be announced at a later date. He said they may have enough to do a second distribution.

He also noted that an earlier donation of bags by Walmart will be included in the distribution.

The use of the paper leaf bags won’t have an adverse effect on the environment and won’t have to be separated from the leaves when they’re dumped at a site used by city workers. He said with plastic bags, workers have to split them open at the dump site and separate them out, then they’re taken to a landfill where they stay forever. They won’t have to do anything with the paper bags except dump them from the trucks.

Council also thanked CCH Environmental for the donation valued at $20,000.

In other business, Kenst announced that the actual profit from the Salem Super Cruise totaled $6,686, which is more than what was previously reported. He also said the municipal events fund, which is where cruise profits go, now totals $27,000. He wanted to make sure people knew the final numbers.

In an unrelated matter, Councilman Clyde Brown asked Kenst if he received an email he sent to him regarding parking on West Pershing Street near Downtown Metals Recycling, noting that vehicles park on the street near there and there’s supposed to be no parking on either side of the street. He asked if a street sign could be placed there to indicate no parking.

Kenst said he spoke with police Chief J.T. Panezott who didn’t think it was necessary to put another sign up. He said they’ll watch the area for parking violations.

Council approved a resolution authorizing Panezott and Mayor John Berlin to enter into mutual aid agreements for law enforcement with Perry Township and Goshen Township. Panezott had talked to council previously to request the agreements, noting that they already work with the other departments, but didn’t have anything in writing.

Brown announced he’ll be hosting a meeting for Second Ward residents at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in council chambers at city hall. He said invitations will be sent to city Law Director Brooke Zellers and city Planning & Zoning Officer Patrick Morrissey to attend.