West Liberty residents speak out about village recycling program


Approximately 15 residents attended the West Liberty Village Council meeting Monday night. Several residents spoke out decrying the recent decision by the council to eliminate curbside recycling in the village. The suspension of recycling operations was decided in a special council meeting held on October 5th.

In that meeting, Street Superintendent Bill Detrick informed the council that it was his experience that only approximately 50% of residents on the west side of the village recycle. He stated he was unsure about the percentages on the east side of the village. He did tell the council that if the curbside recycling program exists in its current form, the village will likely need to purchase an additional truck to handle the extra amount of material.

Additionally, Deitrick said that current staffing issues would prevent the village from going to a three-day pick-up for the long term.

In the event that the council voted to nix the program, the village would need to purchase more orange bags for waste disposal as the number of bags needed would surely increase.

After discussion, the council voted to discontinue curbside recycling beginning November 1. The motion was adopted unanimously.

At Monday’s meeting, several residents addressed the council after council President Jayne Griffith read two letters from village residents into the record. The residents resented the fact that the council did not solicit input from the village or consult anyone outside village officials. A few alternatives were proposed, including offering a reduced number of recycling opportunities, like once a month or bi-weekly. In essence, the feeling was that this decision was rushed and was only made by a small number of people while affecting several hundred.

Mayor McKelvey spoke about the council’s plan to revisit the recycling issue:

She also had advice for residents who would like more information about the recycling plans:

In other council action, an ordinance allowing for curb and gutter work to be completed on West Columbus Street received its third and final reading. Mayor McKelvey also informed the council that a flood mitigation grant in the amount of $7500 was recently received.

The mayor also proposed council adopt a resolution for emergency management mitigation. She received a call from Logan County Emergency Management Agency director Helen Norris suggesting a resolution be adopted that would enable the village to apply for federal, state, and local funds in the event of a natural disaster or environmental hazard. That resolution was adopted,

Mayor McKelvey talks about the mitigation resolution:

The village voted to hire another firefighter for the village. Fire Chief Darin Leach recommended the village hire Jared Cox, who would be working on first shift. Cox was hired unanimously.

Parks and Recreation Committee member Trent Spriggs encouraged the council to earmark $70,000 in the budget for 2024 in order to help the Lion’s Club in demolition efforts at Lion’s Park. The park’s restrooms have been slated for demolition over the winter and a new, prefabricated structure put in its place. The money, which had been included in this year’s budget, was never allocated to the Lion’s Club because the organization failed to secure a grant.

The $70,000 would allow demolition to proceed and for work to be done while the club raises funds. Council member Jim Hoffman made a motion that the council would ensure that the funds were allocated to next year’s budget. The motion passed unanimously.

Mayor McKelvey said that the MCC Thrift Shop has been selected as the November Business of the Month. The award ceremony is scheduled for November 29, 2023.

The West Liberty Village Council will meet next on Monday, November 27, 2023, at 7:00 PM.