Kennesaw City Council members hope to curb a rise in trash pickup costs. The city currently contracts with Republic Services and was notified that monthly prices will go from $14.46 per home to $16.58 after the current contract’s completion.

Marty Hughes, assistant city manager, said they have already done preliminary research on what comparably-sized cities are paying and the range was from $16.52 to $23.25.

According to Ricky Stewart, public works director, HB 792, which passed in the Legislature last year, increased the surcharges for municipal solid waste facilities and those costs are being passed on to consumers.

The current contract ends in September, so the city is on a tight timeline to decide whether to renew the contract with Republic or send it out for rebid. The council will also need to decide whether to absorb the increased cost or pass it on to residents.

Additionally, Mayor Derek Easterling suggested chargeback provisions in the contract due to customer service complaints they’ve received regarding trash pickups being missed.

In other business:

♦ The council will vote next week whether to approve the Kennesaw City Cemetery strategic plan. The earliest known burial there took place in 1863 when it was a part of Camp McDonald, a Civil War training camp. The plan’s goals are to make the historic site a primary destination for tourists, while maintaining it as sacred space, as well as hold programs that “strengthen ties between the decedents buried in the cemetery, the extant structures in the community, and the stories of Kennesaw, Cobb County and greater community.” Kennesaw would be eligible to apply for grants through the Historic Preservation Fund.

♦ The public art master plan will also be up for approval at the next regular meeting. The Art and Culture Commission began research in 2017 to lay out strategies and goals for promoting public art throughout the city. Goals include: identifying opportunities for art in public spaces, partnering with schools, government and local businesses, and identifying funding opportunities such as grants and donations.

♦ The council revisited a potential $87 million road project presented last month by Cobb DOT. Council member Pat Ferris said he is concerned about the effect some of the changes could have on local businesses and noise pollution for those in the flight path to Cobb County International Airport. Council member David Blinkhorn had a more optimistic view of the plan and the potential improvements to traffic, but agreed there could be issues for some small businesses.

“Yes, you’re right. There are some concerns,” Blinkhorn said to Ferris. “We should be actively pursuing some of those answers.”

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