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Posts published in “Day: November 26, 2013

TRASH PICKUP SUSPENDED – Program to be re-evaluated in future

The board of the East Aldine District, after meeting last Monday night and reviewing the costs and results of the Heavy Trash Pick-up program, decided to suspend the work immediately, and instruct residents not to put out any more heavy trash in the four zones designated.

East Aldine District president David Hawes reviewed the history and scope of the program for the board. He stated that the contract, which called for monthly payments to the contractor of $13,750 did not cover his costs, for a variety of reasons. These included underestimating the amount of trash that had accumulated since the Pct. 1 program was terminated by the redistricting last year, the inclusion in curbside trash of items other then residential trash, the inclusion of trash at curbside from “dumpers” outside the district, and the large size of trash piles.

The contract with OFS Solid Waste had not limited the size or nature of the trash, therefore allowing the overruns to occur, Hawes said.

In addition, because Pct. 2 had never picked up curbside heavy trash, even those within the East Aldine District, it became apparent that there were years of accumulated heavy trash that residents were attempting to get rid of.

Hawes said that after the first round of pick-ups in the four designated districts, the contractor had disposed of 2500 tons of trash, or 10,560 cubic yards.

After 10 weeks, this had grown to 443 truckloads, and the contractor was using large 25 cu. yd. trucks.

Due to this overabundance of trash above the original projected amounts in the contract, the OFS Solid Waste company had amassed land fill fees far beyond the monthly payments, and asked the District to assume the costs.

The board assessed its options, and reviewed the documentation to assure that the work had actually been done. Therefore, after verifying the accuracy of the claims, they voted an additional $202,000 to be paid to OFS for work completed.

However, it was also decided that the current contract was not feasible, and they also voted to terminate the heavy trash pick-up.

Trash was due to be picked up in the South zone, and a survey by the staff indicated that most residents had already put this trash out for pick-up. Therefore it was decided that a final cleaning or pick-up would be made in the South zone, subject to the size and type limitations that were announced and published last month. This limited the trash to residential type, not commercial or business trash, and the size limitation is 5 cubic yards, or about 4’ x 4’ x 8’.

The District will re-examine how it can pick up trash in the future, and ask for an RFP from interested parties. It is assumed that this pick-up will be more limited in size, and occur only once or twice per year, said Hawes. Precinct 2 has indicated to the District that they will pay $50,000 yearly toward future clean-ups.

Bus Ridership on Route 59 up, METRO will run more often

East Aldine District has been advised by METRO that ridership on its Route 59 busline, running on Aldine Mail Route and Airline, and connecting with Routes 6, 56 and 83, has experienced incremental increases in ridership. Boardings in October of this year averaged over 300 per day, almost to the goal of 315 that METRO and EAMD have set for the line in a series of planning sessions throughout last year.

Due to this increase, and the smaller buses that have been assigned, METRO has decided that they will increase the frequency of the runs to a 30 minute departure schedule.

According to Metro’s Jose Pulido, this schedule change will take effect on January 27, 2014.

EAMD director of services Richard Cantu stated that this was good news for residents of East Aldine, and forsaw the day when numbers would be even higher, when the new District Town Center and the Lone Star College campus were completed on Aldine Mail Route. At that time the bus service would be an important part of the overall community service plan.