MOUNT VERNON — The city is looking to dig up some more information on recycling by its residents.
Officials sent a short survey to all solid waste haulers licensed in the city in an effort to find out information that will be needed to formulate future plans for recycling in the city.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said the state attorney general recently issued an opinion that questions whether the health department should be allowed to give permits for recycling to trash haulers. Currently, the health department is in charge of issuing permits, but if things are changed, the city would need to step up and be the issuing agent.
The survey, which will be just four questions, will help the city if that is the case. The first question on the short list will be what is the percentage of haulers’ clients that actually recycle. Mavis said when the city first began its recycling program, about 35 percent of the residents recycled.
The other questions will be whether the hauler provides a recycling box, if the bill separates the charge for recycling and whether the hauler gives its customers an information piece that states when they would pick up trash or recyclables.
Mavis is also asking city residents to step up and help out with a health study. Mount Vernon residents will be the control group in a study on manganese in the air in Marietta. One hundred residents between the ages of 30 and 75 are needed for the study and testing will take place Aug. 20 to 23 at the Holiday Inn Express.
“They will maintain confidentiality. We are a control group since we’re not impacted by manganese in the air. It’s a good project and one we need to participate in,” Mavis said.
Mavis said City Engineer Cameron Keaton will be contacting Jobes and Henderson, an engineering company out of Newark, to proceed with the final design plans for the connector road between Coshocton Avenue and Yauger Road. The city has met with officials from Knox Community Hospital and will include their concerns in the final design, but is still waiting for any communication with officials at Lowe’s. Mavis said the city hopes to begin construction on the road in the first quarter of 2010.
“We’ve had excellent information exchanged with the hospital. Unfortunately, we have not had so with Lowe’s,” Mavis said. “We’ve e-mailed them, indicating we plan to proceed with the final design. ... As we determine the final plans, it will determine exactly what the impact will be on the Lowe’s corner. We’re not planning on digging without their permission.”
Mavis praised the work of City Parks Director Geoff Oliver and his crew on their work creating new walking trails around the lakes at Foundation Park. The crews have cut and trimmed shrubbery, and put gravel in for the paths. This will give the city nearly three miles of walking trails in Foundation Park.
“This crew is a special one working on the trail development project. I can’t say enough about the work they’ve done. I’d like to encourage people to get out and walk those trails,” Mavis said.
A final walk through on the Gay Street project revealed only one major issue — the ramp into the parking lot at Critchfield, Critchfield and Johnston. A plan has been created to cut the grade down.
Mavis said the city and pool staff will meet this week to discuss the future of Hiawatha Water Park/Pool. They are considering putting in a splash pad and enclosing a portion of the basketball courts for next year.