April 4, 2013

Logan to crackdown on loose Dumpster

by Amie Sites

— Bill Drinkwine, Logansport Building Commissioner, will be enforcing a refuse disposal container ordinance.

He spoke on the subject at Wednesday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

The zoning ordinance states the refuse disposal container, or Dumpster, shouldn’t be located in a front or side yard, parking area or buffer yard and they should also be opaquely screened from public streets and adjacent properties. Drinkwine said they can be screened by walls, landscaping or buffer yard.

He said he was challenged by a business owner who didn’t have their dumpster properly enclosed. The owner pointed out other businesses don’t follow the ordinance.  

“After driving around town I found chain businesses were properly enclosed but local businesses were not,” Drinkwine said. “The intent of the ordinance is to obstruct the public from viewing rubbish.”

Drinkwine mailed 45 letters to business owners Jan. 25, notifying them the ordinance would be enforced. This week, Drinkwine said he will be issuing a 10-day notice for the proper changes to be made. Drinkwine told the Board of Public Works and Safety it might see people attend the weekly meetings to speak on the ordinance enforcement.  

If action hasn’t been taken after the 10-day notice, a citation of $50 a day per violation – up to a maximum of $250 – will be issued, Drinkwine said.

“The intent is not to give a fine,” Drinkwine said. “We’re absolutely flexible to work with people as long as there is movement to improve.”

Drinkwine said only one business has installed the necessary enclosure. He said he has received many calls from business owners asking if they’re grandfathered in.

“We’re looking in to the ordinance because we want to beautify the city,” Drinkwine said. “We will be relentless.”

City officials will also be making changes to adhere to the ordinance.

Drinkwine, who has a deconstruction company, Rebuild Green Solutions, with his son, said they recently placed a concrete pad and chain-linked fence with vinyl screening around the Dumpster area of his business.

Mayor Ted Franklin said the ordinance is city-wide, not just downtown.

“I will take action to meet the standards listed,” Franklin said of his senior-housing business. “We are expected to meet the ordinance just like everyone else.”

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