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No security changes yet to yard waste site in Bellevue

By Heather Graves

BELLEVUE – Concerns were raised by the village board earlier this year about the village yard waste site, located at 3891 Eaton Road, regarding escalating costs and security enhancements, especially during overnight hours.

The board has already raised the license fees for both Bellevue and non-Bellevue contractors in hopes of helping with the rising costs.

In regards to security, members of the board agreed closing the site during nighttime hours could help eliminate some issues the village has had with illegal dumping of non-yard waste items and non-resident dumping.

To do that, staff recommend the board approve the installation of an automatic opening and closing gate, which they see as the most cost-effective option.

If the gate is installed, staff recommends site hours from 7 a.m. to sunset and closing the site from Nov. 30 to April 1, weather depending – with the exception of a three-week opening in January for Christmas tree drop off.

The estimated cost for the automatic gate installation is between $10,000 and $13,000.

David Betts, director of public works, said the cost of an automatic gate is significantly lower in contrast to having public works staff opening and closing a gate each day.

“Typically, this time would be overtime hours,” Betts said in his report. “If this was done every day from April 1 thru Nov. 30 (243 days), the cost would be approximately $26,000 annually.”

Because of the financial burden and it not being budgeted for, the board voted unanimously to reevaluate the situation during the 2020 budget process

“In the interim, (staff) will monitor the costs of disposing of the yard waste that is brought in and we will continue enforcement of our residency rules at the yard waste site,” said Village Administrator Diane Wessel.

Resolutions of support

Similar to other communities around the state, Bellevue passed resolutions in support of certain components of Gov. Tony Evers’ state budget that impact local municipalities at its meeting May 8.

The governor’s proposed state budget includes initiatives that impact local municipalities.

Specifically, those that impact levy limits, shared revenue, transportation aid, and closing the dark store loophole.

Trustees in support of the resolution in regards to increasing local transportation aid agree it doesn’t fix the crisis, but see it as a step in the right direction.

In a 2018 community survey, residents describe village roads as “absolutely nasty, terrible, dangerous, awful and by far the worst.”

The dark store loophole initiative also hits close to home for Bellevue.

Wessel said there are seven large retailers in the village, and three have utilized the dark store loophole to reduce property tax liability.

The board passed the resolutions 4-1 with Trustee Dave Kaster against.

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