Norwalk finalizes waste agreement with Athens

Photo by Raul Samaniego

Photo by Raul Samaniego

NORWALK – The Norwalk City Council finalized a solid waste agreement with Athens Services during a special meeting Tuesday in the council chambers. 

The agreement was ratified 4-1 with Councilman Leonard Shryock continuing his disapproval of the contract with his solo “no” vote.

For a few moments, there was apprehension in the room when Mayor Jennifer Perez paused with the vote 2-1 in favor of accepting the staff recommendation to approve.

Councilman Tony Ayala was not present for the staff report given once again by administrative services manager Adriana Figueroa and the pause in the mayor’s voice seemed to waver on something other than a “yes” vote before Perez stated she wanted to wait for Ayala who was making his way to his seat.

With Ayala in place, the voting continued and both Perez and Ayala affirmed the agreement to make Athens Services Norwalk’s new solid waste hauler.

The agreement with Athens calls for the initial reduction in residential rates from $20.79 to $16.75 and senior rates from $9.79 to $4.19 a month. The rates will remain in place until at least Sept. 1, 2020.

Additional changes include the increase to 52 times a year when residents can call for a bulky item pickup; a Norwalk-based office location for bill payment; and new trash receptacles.

The contract also calls for all-new garbage trucks at the start of service to be powered by natural gas.

Athens Services offered the opportunity for possible employment to any current solid waste vehicle driver displaced by this new agreement.

The new agreement is set to begin Aug. 1.

OPEN STREET EVENT: The council voted 5-0 to approve the concept of an “open street” event to be held at a main thoroughfare in the city.

Tantamount to approving a future street fair in Norwalk, the idea will be funded mostly by a grant from the Metro Transportation agency.

No date was given for the event, but a plan must be in place by June 8, 2018.

Raul Samaniego, contributor