Local government

Vale leaders ponder future of city garbage service

VALE – For more than a year, Vale city officials have been pondering what to do about Vale’s two aging and unreliable garbage trucks but don’t plan yet to make a change.

Vale Mayor Tom Vialpando said last week the Vale City Council has studied the issue but hasn’t chosen a path forward.

He said the city has two options – contract with a private company to provide garbage service or acquire two new trucks and maintain city service. He said eventually the city will be forced to decide as the trucks continue to age.

“We will be needing two new ones. We are band-aiding the two we have constantly,” he said.

Vale assigns two employees – Logan Pennington and Kelly Wolfe – to garbage service on the trucks.

Vialpando emphasized the city “hasn’t planned anything” despite rumors that the city workers might be laid off.

Vialpando said Vale remains one of the few cities in the county that has its own garbage service.

He said a contract with an outside firm could help the city in terms of costs in the future.

“As far as the city being small, if someone calls in sick, we have to have someone come in and fill in. If we contract out, that burden wouldn’t be on us,” he said.

Ontario, Adrian and Nyssa have contracts for private garbage service, while Huntington contracts out its commercial garbage pickup

“We would not want to see another person’s position eliminated but if it will benefit the city in more ways than one, it is something we have to entertain,” said Vialpando.

Todd Fuller, Vale city manager, said the cost of a new garbage truck is about $300,000.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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