Putnam County Council Decides to End Curbside Recycling by 2025

Putnam County Council’s recent meeting addressed several community issues, with a decision to phase out curbside recycling services by 2025 standing out as a key development.

The council deliberated on the contract with Waste Pro, which proposed price increases for their services. The contract, originating in 2015, included options for two 5-year renewals. Waste Pro presented two pricing options: one maintaining the current services and another excluding curbside recycling. The council weighed the cost implications of these options against the environmental and community impact, noting that neighboring counties like Clay County had recently discontinued curbside recycling. Ultimately, the decision was made to discontinue curbside recycling by 2025, acknowledging that only 18% of the county’s clientele participated in the program and that there was a limited market for recyclable materials.

The debate centered on the practicality and cost-effectiveness of continuing the curbside recycling program. Given the increasing operation costs and the environmental benefits, the council discussed the possibility of providing designated recycling facilities for voluntary drop-offs by residents. The discussions pointed to a future focus on managing waste generated by travel trailers and addressing concerns related to water rate increases, specifically in relation to the St. John’s Harbor water plant and water production costs.

In addition to waste management, the council discussed a grant agreement amendment with Certainteed Gypsum. The amendment aimed to establish a baseline year for employment as part of a grant funding to offset costs for a $235 million project. Concerns were raised regarding the compliance of proposed changes with auditing standards and the accuracy of reporting employment numbers. The council engaged in a debate, with a focus on ensuring that Certainteed Gypsum could prove the number of jobs created and the timeframe for hiring new employees.

Another focal point of the meeting was the establishment of the Administrative Deviation Committee, which would include two Deputy County administrators, the executive director of Planning Development Services, the executive director of Public Works, and the senior divisional planning manager. The council engaged in discussions about the proposed changes to the appeals process for the committee’s decisions, particularly the appeals to the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Board of County Commissioners within 30 days of a decision.

A member of the public, Michael Woodward, suggested specific changes to the appeals process to address potential confusion and conflicts. These suggestions included adding a sentence to clarify the type of appeal and ensuring the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies was considered. The council members debated the implications of these changes, seeking clarification on the role of County Commissioners in appeals and the potential for parallel appeals to different boards.

The meeting also recognized the St. John’s River State College Lady Vikings softball team for their championship victory. The President of the college shared the academic and athletic achievements of the student-athletes and expressed gratitude for the community’s support. Additionally, the meeting celebrated the recent Bassmaster Elite event’s success, which had significant TV and online viewership, social media impressions, and attendance, contributed positively to Putnam County’s profile.

Employee accomplishments were highlighted as well, with the employee of the quarter being named and a 35-year service recognition. Moreover, the council approved appointments to various boards and discussed a proposal for a development project behind a college, which was ultimately approved following a public hearing.

Public comments brought individual challenges to light, such as resident Lawrence Perkins addressing issues with the county’s water provider services and the lack of communication regarding his property’s connectivity. Furthermore, the council agreed to discuss a certified letter about St. John’s Harbor at a future meeting.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

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