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Middletown pricing out once weekly trash collection; billboard on the move


Middletown Township plans to open bids next month for trash collections services, and more than the vendor could be changing.

Township Manager Stephanie Teoli Kuhls explained that the township drew up bid specs to allow for different options — including possibly reducing trash pickups for single-family homes from twice to once a week.

Rental developments would not be subject to that possible change, she said.

The options are aimed at “minimizing the impact of the anticipated increase,” according to Teoli Kuhls.

“Since our last bid, the cost of collection has increased dramatically as a result of numerous economic factors,” she said.

Those factors include the recycling market, equipment costs and staffing, she added.

Residents now pay $401 annually for twice-weekly trash collection, weekly recycling collection, one bulk item per week and weekly yard waste from April through January, she explained.

Other options aimed at cutting costs include reducing bulk item pickup to once a month and having the hauler use automated trucks.

Teoli Kuhls acknowledged the township has already heard residents’ concerns over potential changes. One is that 96-gallon receptacles used with automated pickup could be too big. But there is a provision in the bid specs that would require the hauler to provide 65-gallon containers upon request after the first quarter of 2015.

The current five-year contract with Waste Management expires at the end of the year. Teoli Kuhls said the township supervisors are expected to award a new five-year pact in August.

In other news from the May township supervisors meeting, the electronic monument billboard at Business Route 1 and South Flowers Mill Road was taken down about three weeks ago, Teoli Kuhls reported. That, she said, occurred after a court ruling in favor of the owner of the adjacent property where Fred Beans Hyundai is located.

Later, she said the property owner appealed the issuance of the township permit that allowed the large billboard.

“They argued that a monument billboard was not a permitted use in a right-of-way pursuant to the township’s zoning ordinance,” she said.

Teoli Kuhls said Premier Media plans to reconstruct the billboard a tad further south on Business Route 1, closer to the entrance of I-295 North.

A grants update presented to the supervisors was highlighted by the fact that the municipality had been awarded 13 grants totaling more than $2.3 million in the last year.

They included:

• $744,000 from the state for stormwater improvements to the township’s Langhorne Gables section.

• $300,000 from the state for school zone signal improvements.

• $382,564 from the county for public works vehicles.

• $169,405 from the county for police vehicles.

Assistant Township Manager Nick Valla also reported Middletown is seeking a federal grant of $2.5 million to hire five new full-time firefighters for three years and a $1 million grant to add LED lights at Middletown Community Park.

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