Polycart program terminated

Kevin Wilson

Clovis has trashed its polycart program.

In response to near-unanimous public comment against a potential sanitation transition from alley trash bins to individual polycarts, the Clovis City Commission voted unanimously Thursday to terminate the plan.

The city used about 1,700 units for the trial program. Service areas for those polycarts included houses in Colonial Park, along Fairway Terrace and inside an area enclosed within 21st Street and Plaza Drive and Main and Gidding streets.

Public comments were accepted through June 18, and 537 pieces of correspondence were received. Only 11 of those comments were in favor of the polycarts.

City Manager Joe Thomas said polycarts would still be used in areas where there are no alleyways. Otherwise, dumpsters would either stay or be phased back into the neighborhoods.

At the meeting, the issue was brought up quickly for a vote. No citizens spoke for or against the switch, but most of the 20 in attendance broke into applause after the 8-0 decision to dump the trial program.

“This is an example of something we tried,” said Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield after the vote. “We tried it, we had the trial period, but we got it loud and clear that dumpsters are here to stay.”

Brumfield thanked City Engineer Justin Howalt for looking into a program she said could have saved the city money on its trash service. She thanked both Howalt and Thomas for taking public criticism for the unpopular program.

Residents who wrote in favor of the carts said the system would be cleaner than shared dumpsters in alleys.

Detractors noted issues with weight and maneuverability, and trash spilling from strong winds blowing the carts over.

The city can keep some of the polycarts, but has an option with the manufacturer to sell back any or all at a reduced rate. The manufacturer recycles them into new polycarts.

In other business commissioners:

• Heard reports from Regional Growth Management Planner Rick Draker and Ashley Law, president of Clovis High’s Key Club.

• Re-elected Jean Waters and Ione Wood to the Commission on Older Adults for three-year terms, and elected Gene Woodcock, former president at Baxter-Curren Senior Center, to a one-year term. Woodcock replaces Nida Rierson, who resigned for health reasons.

• Transferred $45,526.67 in Local Government Road Funds from the reconstruction of the Hull Street Overpass to upcoming renovations for 21st Street (from Prince Street to Norris Street). The money was available, as the Hull Street bids were lower than anticipated.

• Approved an ordinance to amend city code to stay compliant within terms of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood insurance program. The ordinance, if approved in the commission’s Aug. 5 meeting, would become effective the same day.

• Approved street closures of Purdue Avenue 6:30-9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday for Artists of America to paint an American flag mural and the section of Main Street in front of the Lyceum Theater from 4-7 p.m. July 24 for a Make a Wish auction.