Lakeview Village Council makes changes to black dirt service

By Meghan Nelson • Last Updated 8:38 pm on Tuesday, May 09, 2017

On Tuesday afternoon, Lakeview Village Manager Shay Gallagher stops by the black dirt site on Golf Park past Lakeview Airport-Griffith Field to see how much dirt is available and how the new arrangement will work. — Daily News/Meghan Nelson

LAKEVIEW — When the Department of Public Works (DPW) collects leaves in autumn, it uses them to turn into black dirt for residents.

In the spring and summer, residents can use the dirt for home or gardening needs.

“We create it,” said Lakeview Village Councilman Steve Case during Monday night’s meeting. “That was the idea of collecting the leaves: Why get rid of it when we can give back to residents.”

The topic was brought up because the current arrangement for residents to receive the black dirt requires DPW employees to deliver the black dirt to residents’ homes. The first load is free and subsequent loads are $10.

On Monday, Village Manager Shay Gallagher proposed ending or changing the program to save time and wear on the vehicle.

“That way we’re not running the loader back and forth from the airport to the resident’s houses,” Gallagher said. “It is a great service, but we’re spending money and losing money. We’re not looking to make a profit off of this at all, but we’d like to make sure we’re not losing money.”

Changing the delivery service will also save DPW employees time and put fewer miles on the aging loader. On sunny days, workers have been taken away from their other duties for an entire afternoon to drive the loader back and forth from the soil location on Golf Park past Lakeview Airport-Griffith Field.

Gallagher suggested opening up the black dirt location for residents to be able to pick up and haul the soil by themselves. However, Councilman Dominic Trevino pointed out Lakeview has several older residents, such as his mother, who are unable to haul and shovel the black dirt by themselves.

“I’d like a way where they can come and get it for free or they can pay more money to have it delivered,” Councilman Chris Fryover said.

After negotiating what to charge for delivery and settling on $20 for every delivery, including the first, Case made a motion to end free deliveries and open up free pickups. The DPW will only deliver upon request. The motion was passed 4-1, with Trevino voting “no.”

The changes will go into effect on June 1 to allow residents time to plan for the change.

“We can make a note to look at this next year at this time,” Case said. “We may end up with nobody coming up to take any (dirt).”

Along with the new black dirt arrangement, the Village Council also decided to have the ability to cut off sales of road millings, which are available for residents for $35 per delivery. Those will still be delivered, but since the village uses road millings for projects, Gallagher wanted the ability to end sales once the supply is to a point where the village will need to use the remaining millings.

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