Trash talk festers in Park City
Dumpsters at a condominium complex in Park City finally got so dirty that citizens took the situation into their own hands.
After Summit County officials refused to provide each resident at Parkview condominiums their own garbage cans, the homeowner’s association purchased the containers on its own dime.
Parkview residents, however, claim they should be treated like every other homeowner in Summit County and commissioners should reimburse them for the costs of the cans.
According to laws that govern the collection of solid waste in Summit County, residents who live in structures comprised of fewer than four units don’t pay extra for individual cans.
"It’s four units or less, we have three," Parkview resident Derek Howard said about the 12 triplexes at Parkview situated near Jupiter Drive east of S.R. 224 in Park City.
When the County Commission refused to cover the costs of switching from commercial Dumpsters to residential cans, Parkview Homeowner’s Association President Bruce Haines made an appeal to the board.
"It’s not fair," Haines said. "The policy either exists or it doesn’t exist, enforce your policy."
Condo owners at Parkview paid roughly $3,300 per year for the county’s waste hauler, Allied Waste Services, to collect trash from Dumpsters in the community.
"We’re designated as commercial and we believe we should be designated as residential," Howard said, adding that individual cans cost Parkview residents a total of roughly $3,600 per year. "The county would pick up the costs instead of us."
Though Parkview consists of 12 buildings each containing three units, county officials counter that the 36 condominiums do not qualify as residential as defined by the waste-hauling contract.
According to Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott, western Summit County has "many, many condominium units."
"In large part, they are commercial," Elliott said, adding, "they are for the purpose of serving the resort community with lodging."
But when Summit County negotiates a new contract for trash collection next year, all condo owners may be place on more level footing, she said.
"We now have quite a few people who are living in individually-owned condominiums," Elliott said. "I feel like we have an element of unfairness here that I’d like to work out."
However, instead of making an exception for Parkview residents, Elliott says the issue should be addressed by the new contract.
Known formerly as BFI, Allied Waste Services’ relationship with the county could end when the company’s contract expires in 2007.
"If there is a short-term inequity here, it’s better than making a bad decision," Elliott said.
Meanwhile, county commissioners have failed to enforce their own rules, Haines said.
"They’re trying to say, well, it’s going to be changing in the next year or two and we need to wait until then. We’re willing to change when the policy changes," Haines said. "They just randomly chose not to implement the guidelines or allow us to fall under them."
According to Howard, "we’re asking for an application of the contract as it exists right now."
"This is still the governing policy and we want it applied to Parkview," he added.
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