Marietta city councilmember proposes new solution for unsightly dumpsters to be paid for by parking meters
by Hilary Butschek
June 24, 2014 04:00 AM | 2781 views | 3 3 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kevin Marcial, a dishwasher at Shillings on the Square, makes one of several daily trips to the dumpsters located on Hansell Street. The smelly bulky trash containers take up a large space of potential parking spots.<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Kevin Marcial, a dishwasher at Shillings on the Square, makes one of several daily trips to the dumpsters located on Hansell Street. The smelly bulky trash containers take up a large space of potential parking spots.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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MARIETTA — The unsightly heaps of trash piling in the Dumpsters behind the buildings on Marietta Square could soon be hidden underground if Councilman Johnny Walker’s plan for cleaning up the area succeeds.

After a resident told him about Dumpsters in Italy that look like regular trash bins above ground but empty into larger Dumpster-sized receptacles below the surface, Walker sent photos to Mayor Steve Tumlin and the City Council.

“I like the idea, and I thought I would have the city do a little research on it,” Walker said.

Walker, whose family owned Johnny Walker’s men’s clothing store on the Square for more than 60 years, said he has long heard complaints from visitors to the Square about the leaking, smelly dumpsters.

“It makes sense to me, and it would help do away with the unsightly dumpsters,” Walker said. “It would really clean up the city.”

The City Council won’t begin discussion at its meetings on how to solve the dumpster problem in the Square until next month, Walker said, because he submitted the suggestion after the deadline for this month’s meetings.

Mayor Steve Tumlin said he supports the idea and was glad another member of the council had brought it to the table.

Tumlin suggested alternative solutions to the dumpsters during his first year in office in 2010, he said, and it spiraled into heated discussions about where the money would come from.

“I pushed it and then backed off because of money,” Tumlin said.

But now, Tumlin said he thinks council members could agree on a way to fund the new dumpsters.

Tumlin said he wants to install parking meters on the Square — a move the Downtown Marietta Development Authority has been talking about for years — to collect the capital the city would need for the project.

Dave Reardon, the owner of Shillings on the Square and a member of the DMDA, said he agrees paid parking places are needed to control traffic on the Square. He also would like to see the dumpster behind his building go.

“I’ve never seen dumpsters in the ground, but that sounds wonderful,” Reardon said. “You’ve got to put them somewhere.”

Reardon said the No. 1 complaint he hears from customers is the lack of parking on the Square. He said people going to the courthouse in the morning use up all of the free parking places on the Square instead of the parking decks built for those visitors, which cost $5.

Reardon and Tumlin, who is also a member of the DMDA, agree the parking meters should be used to discourage people going to court from parking in the Square.

“When the need is high, the fee is high,” Reardon said.

Tumlin said his idea is to charge for the spaces on the Square from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., but leave the spaces free after that.

Without more discussion, Tumlin said he didn’t know how much the meters would charge.

“It would have a prettier Square and even control the traffic a little better down there,” Tumlin said.

The city has had problems with residents complaining about dumpsters before. Members of the Marietta First Baptist Church complained when the city moved a dumpster into its parking lot, but a few years later, the situation was resolved when the city removed it.

Comments
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CharlieC
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June 24, 2014
What am I missing here? Someone opens a business in an inadequate space for the type of business conducted and the city has to give them street space for their dumpsters! Let the business pay for off street space for their dumpsters. This is taking public property for their personal gain. And the city is going to charge the cost to the folks who park on the square. Are we crazy?
Quarters from Heaven
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June 24, 2014
I was recently in Charleston WVA where even the parking spaces in the public lots for the State Capital have meters, then in Washington Pa. and the library parking lot had meters, and again in Greensburg Pa all of the downtown area had parking meters.

The average price was $1 and hour with a 2 hour max. So if you wanted more than 2 hours you had to go back out and feed the meter. The exception was in Charleston where in the State lot you could get up to 8 hours.

I saw a city worker and a jail trustee emptying the meters in Washington and asked him how the system worked. He said that they would park at the end of a street and work their way down the street to the corner and then go back up the other side to the truck and dump the coins into a large locked container until they hit every street with meters. They were using a small bucket then they would dump it into a 5 gallon bucket on a hand truck.

The street I was parked on by the courthouse nearly filled the 5 gallon bucket and there were about 30 spaces the length of the block.
Church Streeter
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June 24, 2014
I support the idea of meters on the Square, but only if they parking is free after a certain time as the Mayor suggested. If the city does decide to move forward with this project, I hope they would consider meters that accept credit cards.
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