Port Royal council discusses tax rate, trash pickup changes

emoody@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 4, 2013 

The scene at Wednesday night's town council meeting.

STAFF PHOTO

  • In other business, council:

  • Heard from residents opposed to the annexation and rezoning of 508 Broad River Boulevard to a general residential zone. Concerns ranged from the appearance of any single-family home built on the land , to the effect of a building on the nearby marsh, to spot-zoning.

  • Heard a proposal from Billy Gavigan and John Sanford, representing Spartan Operational & Training Group and the IceMan IceHouse company about purchasing a robotic, self-functioning ice machine for the Port Royal shrimp docks. Initial costs would be $150,000 for that machine or $35,000 for a standard, manual machine, town manager Van Willis said.

  • Heard from town planner Linda Bridges that work on the Port Royal leg of the Spanish Moss Trail could begin soon, with path-clearing getting underway as early as Monday.

  • Heard from Willis about possible changes to plans to improve and expand the board walk at the Port of Port Royal. The S.C. State Ports Authority has some concerns about allowing the public access included in the original plan, which was created when there was an active plan to sell and develop the vacant port.

  • While Port Royal property taxes are unlikely to rise this year, a much more visible change is in the offing: how curbside trash is picked up.
  • During a Wednesday night work session, town council discussed keeping the tax rate at 69 mils, the figure used in creating the $5-million budget passed in June. An official vote on the tax rate is planned Sept. 11.

    During that same session, council discussed upcoming changes in trash collection.

    New bins and waste pick up routines will be in place by the end of the month, town engineer Tony Maglioni said.

    He has been working with Waste Pro on the transition since council agreed in June to contract out trash pick up to save money.

    To reach full savings potential -- starting at about $60,000 a year -- Waste Pro will use new trucks with automated side-loading arms that lift trash bins and require less manual labor.

    Residents will receive new 95-gallon bins between Sept. 23 and 28.

    Their current 90-gallon bins will be recycled to replace the current 18-gallon recycling bins.

    The larger recycling bins mean recycling will be picked up every other Wednesday, starting Oct. 9, rather than once a week.

    The 18-gallon bins can be left at the curb for pickup Oct. 2.

    Since the new trash pick up is expected to be faster, some changes may be made to routes and the days trash is picked up, Maglioni said. Affected residents will be notified.

    Other changes are also in the works.

    Starting Sept. 30, new rules for yard waste pickup also go into effect.

    Leaves, grass clippings and bush trimmings must go in one pile, and branches no longer than 4 feet and no thicker than 4 inches must be put in a second. That means trucks can target the waste to the center best equipped to handle it.

    Brochures describing the changes will be distributed to residents.

    Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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