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Janesville compost hours in flux

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 4, 2009
— In the middle of the season for raking and hauling leaves, a city council debate about shortening hours at the city compost site next year has left some city resident confused about when the site is open this fall.

“We handle hours requests on a very routine basis,” said Peter Riggs, assistant operations director.


It turns out that the council debate is only part of the problem. Seasonal changes in compost site hours probably cause confusion, too.


The site’s hours change three times in November.


While next year’s city budget has not yet been approved, the majority of council members in a study session agreed to save $15,538 by cutting weekday evening and Saturday afternoon hours at the compost site.


Any reductions would start in 2010.


Several residents have contacted council members through the city’s Web site, asking them to consider city residents—probably a majority—who work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The council will vote on the 2010 budget Monday, Nov. 23, and residents can speak at public hearings Monday, Nov. 9, and Monday, Nov. 23.


The new compost site hours would be the same as the landfill hours. The operations director told council members that similar hours would be less confusing for residents.


Several residents who contacted council member urged them to keep the compost center open later on Saturday and even one night a week.


City resident Michael Van Dan wrote that closing the site at 1 p.m. on Saturday puts a burden on people who work days.


“I don’t agree with the cut in the hours on Monday and Thursday, either, but feel if the Saturday hours could stay the same, it would be a good compromise,” Van Dan wrote.


Another resident, Brian Gray, wrote that councilmember Russ Steeber had the right idea. Steeber suggested that the center open later and close later on some days.


He noted that John Whitcomb, operations director, said that could confuse contractors and seniors.


“They could keep it written down for reference like I do,” Gray said. “Mirroring the landfill hours is the worst solution. Cut hours, but make both accessible at least one evening a week.”


Sara Lemke wrote that she appreciates the need to operate efficiently and applauded efforts to be budget conscious.


But she said most city residents work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


“I’m also assuming that many people with my schedule do much of their yard work on Saturday morning, making time of the essence if you plan on getting to the compost site before it closes,” Lemke said. “I’m sure you would agree a goal of city services is to service as many citizens as possible. Even having just one weekday evening available would be greatly appreciated.”


COMPOST SITE HOURS

Regular compost site hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.


But the site’s hours change three times in November:


-- Nov. 1 through Nov. 8, the hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.


-- Nov. 9 through Nov. 21, the hours are extended to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. That’s because it has to be open anyway for city crews to dump leaves collected from city streets.


-- Nov. 23 through Dec. 5, the hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.


Beginning Dec. 7, the compost facility will not have regular hours, but it may be open if the weather is agreeable.


To get the compost hours, call (608) 755-3105. Or, go to the city’s Web site, ci.janesville.wi.us, click “City Government” and then click Operations (Sanitation). Scroll down to “Compost Site” under “Department Services” and click on “Compost site.”

To save $15,538, the council has suggested reducing the compose site hours in 2010.


The suggested hours would mirror those of the landfill: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.



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