St. Louis Public Radio News
Wed October 15, 2008
County council declines to act on trash district enforcement plan
By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
Clayton, Mo. – The St. Louis County Council declined to act on legislation Tuesday that would enforce the county's controversial new trash district plan.
County Executive Charlie Dooley requested the proposal a week ago after the county's lawyer admitted in court there was nothing in the new trash law that prevented haulers from trying to get their old customers back.
Bryan Barcom is a co-owner of American Eagle Waste, one of the companies that lost a bid to provide service in the new districts.
"We want to take the customers back that want to come back, but where does it put you two weeks from now, where does it put you three weeks from now, and then also where does it put St. Louis County as a whole with the haulers that have the rights to go in?" Barcom said.
Council members who supported not taking the vote said they wanted more time to see whether legislation would be required.
The new trash plan went into effect October 1. It's meant to cut the number of garbage trucks on the road by assigning a designated hauler for each of eight districts.
Also Tuesday, the council rejected a largely symbolic resolution that was designed to voice support for boosting the starting pay of county police officers.
St. Louis County ranks 27th among local municipalities for starting salaries.
Council members say they understand the officers' concerns, but were worried about the legality of the resolution and the county's financial picture.
Bob Frohne, president of the County Police Officers Association, said he is not sure the police will get what they're asking for in the budget scheduled to be released November 1.
"I think something'll happen, I don't know if it's going to be the full amount to bring us back up to the numbers that they want us to be at," Frohne said. "When I started here in 1997, I think we were like number 2 in the region. And we're not now."
Frohne said the county could fund the 6.5 percent increase by earmarking cell phone tax dollars for police pay, and not eliminating the current general fund dollars that go to public safety.