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Thurmont officials still hashing out
 bulk trash pick up

Ingrid Mezo

(7/20) Ron Terpko, the town’s trash and recycling committee liaison, said Tuesday he expects to know more on July 24 about when a bulk trash pick-up could next be scheduled.

The committee had tried to organize a bulk trash pick up during July, but it cost too much, he said.

A BFI company quote of $3,100 per pick-up for a separate, bulk-trash only day, not including tipping fees, the cost to the town would have been well over $6,200 a month for two pick-ups.

To drop off trash at a certain location, the cost would have come to $2,200 per pick-up day. That’s either a $74,400 cost to the town per year for two monthly bulk trash pick-ups, or $26,400 a year for a once-a-month bulk trash drop off.

BFI said it would no longer pick up bulk trash along with other garbage, Terpko said.

He planned to more clearly define what constituted bulk trash, and ask additional questions of the company during the meeting with them next week. In addition, Terpko is meeting with another trash collection company, Key Sanitation, today to shop around for lower prices. BFI does not have a contract with the town.

Commissioner Bill Blakeslee questioned why the company would no longer pick up bulk items, when it had been doing it for 10 ten years without such a large cost attached to it.

Terpko said he thought it might have something to do with having to pick up just large, bulky items on one day. Other town officials pointed out that the company had said last month that a separate bulk trash day would make it easier on the company.

Mayor Martin Burns balked at the idea of defining items that could and could not be picked up as bulk trash.

‘‘If it fits into a garbage can, you better take it," he said, making an exception of the stones he had placed in the trash, which the company refused to take.

‘‘If we have to parse out what’s bulk and what’s not, then they can say ‘We’re not taking it because it’s not on the list," Burns continued. ‘‘I don’t think BFI ought to be the trash police."

Burns added that had talked to Hagerstown code enforcers who would be more than happy to make a presentation to the town about Thurmont having its own code enforcers.

‘‘Please be patient," Burns said, addressing town residents. ‘‘It really gets frustrating when people complain. We’re trying to save your tax dollars, and I think we’re doing a good job...Just allow us to massage this and get it right. Ask your boy scouts, ask your church, ask a neighbor, ask your friend. Just help us help you."

Blakeslee said the town had dumped less tonnage at the landfill in the past year than in 2001, despite the fact that 200 homes had been built since then, ‘‘so recycling does work."

Burns added that he appreciated the job residents were doing on recycling, which was helping save the town money.

Denied zoning change request has second chance

Thurmont officials unanimously voted against rezoning the Baltzell property on West Moser Road prior to the completion of the town’s master plan update.

The applicant, Gerald L. Baltzell, will still be able to rezone his .87-acre property from low- to high-density residential as the master plan update process continues.

Frederick County planner Dennis Superczynski said if town officials grant the zoning change request, Baltzell would be able to build condominiums or apartments.

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