City council discusses Palladium, trash collection

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Creating a fund for the Center for the Performing Arts and the possibility of city wide trash pickup and recycling were big issues at Monday’s Carmel City Council Meeting.

Councilors Snyder, Sharp and Seidensticker sponsored an ordinance that would create a Center for the Performing Arts Fund. Although most members of the council were in agreement that the fund needs to be created, Councilman Acceturo had strong objections.

Acceturo said, “Initially, I believe with the establishment of this permanent fund we are coming to the conclusion that absolutely from now to eternity we will have to subsidize the operation of the Performing Arts complex and I would hope that would not be the case. I assume the taxpayers of Carmel hope that would not be the case.”

Councilman Carter took issue with that statement. He said, “This council has not concluded that setting up this fund will lead to us subsidizing it for eternity, I don’t agree with that at all.”

Councilman Sharp described the fund as a line item in the budget each year. He said that some year the money put aside for that line item might be zero and they all look forward to that.

Acceturo also objected to the fact that the foundation which runs the Center for the Performing Arts does not have a contract with the city. All council members agreed that the city would have a contract in place before giving any funding to the complex.

Councilman Rider said, “It’s irrelevant whether or not a council member approves or doesn’t approve of what has been done at the Palladium to this point. As a representative of the city and the taxpayers it is our job to make the Palladium successful from this point forward.”

The ordinance was sent to the finance, administration and rules committee for further review.

After heated opinions were shared on the funding of the Center for the Performing Arts, another big issue developed at the council meeting. Sue Maki made a presentation on behalf of utilities.

Maki presented a bid from Republic to create city wide trash pick up and curbside recycling for all single family residences in Carmel. If approved every single family home in the city would be responsible for paying for the service.

Maki said that although there is no opting out of the service, “snowbirds” would be able to suspend their services during their vacations. Maki compared the charges to service fees like residences pay for sewage.

Councilman Sharp wanted more information on the specifics of the proposed deal. He said, “This is in essence a tax because people aren’t going to have a choice. We may save some people some money, we will also cost some people some money.”

Maki did not agree the fees could be considered a tax.

Seidensticker took issue with the proposed deal including trash pick up for city buildings. He was worried the fees for city trash pickup would be spread out amongst residents, something he did not agree with.

The issue was sent to the utilities committee and the council will host a special session for the public to weigh in on the proposed deal.

In other business, Drew Williams was appointed to the Carmel Economic Development Commission.

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