WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After months of back and forth and discussion during various Wichita Falls City Council meetings, city councilors adopted a whole new ordinance on sanitation in Tuesday’s meeting.
From community members to home builders and of course, those third-party owners almost eight months had led to this meeting.
“Yeah maybe they should’ve brought it to you 10 years ago but we’re bringing it to you today to try and remedy this problem,” city of Wichita Falls Director of Public Works Russell Schreiber said.
Very different viewpoints on the same subject from M&R Services Owner Mickey Fincannon to Schreiber.
“The ordinance will affect 90% of my business because it targets citizens. This is just another passing of a city ordinance to you, but to some of us, this is taking away our livelihood,” Fincannon said.
“It’s just like speeding down Kell Boulevard, you may do it for years and years and years and then one day you finally get caught. Just because we just now discovered it doesn’t mean we should just turn a blind eye and not correct it,” Schreiber said.
As the city noticed when upgrading sanitation route equipment that some third-party trash roll-off companies had eaten into their customer base, which unbeknownst to many, was actually against the city’s current ordinance.
“When you bring it to us we have to do something about it. I think I have the responsibility, and not the ability, to turn a blind eye to it. I have to take some sort of action,” city of Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana said.
But those third-party company owners say this will have a huge negative impact not only on their businesses but also their customers.
“Let them compete with us. If they have a better price and they want a 10-yard dumpster, then let them buy a 10-yd dumpster. Our dumpsters are three times the size so they should be three times the price. Customers they want that, let them have it,” Onsite Solutions Owner Kerry Wylie said.
“I dump on Saturdays, you know I dumped two this morning that’s why I got crocs on, my feet were soaking wet. Come on. You guys aren’t going to do that,” local business owner said.
But after a 4-2 council vote approving changes that would require franchising for companies to continue roll-off services and limits on what job they may have to use city dumpsters for.
But this topic may only continue as it doesn’t go into effect until Sept. 1, and those like Wylie aren’t taking this lightly.
“If it becomes more convenient for us to take it to Iowa Park, the city is going to lose some of that, and I don’t mean that as a threat, it’s just how it’s going to play out,” Wylie said.
But after plenty of discussion on how continuing to allow things to continue as is would affect the rest of the citizens in Wichita Falls.
A compromise over time, the city sees this as the perfect time to make this switch.
“I talk about this every time I go to McBride’s to eat. When I’m at happy hour, I talk about it with him, I talk about trash more than I talk about electrical. We turned spending $800,000 something on roll-offs and we ended up with this. I thought it was a great thing that we were trying to turn it back to this, I think we’ve done a lot of good so far, yes. Can we be better? We all can,” District 3 Councilor Jeff Browning said.