It’s almost time for Johnstown residents to throw out all of their spring cleaning trash.
Carlos Gunby, the city’s finance director, announced Friday that tentative dates for the city’s spring cleanup have been set for June 3-7.
He expects the schedule to be finalized during a meeting with the city’s waste removal service provider, Advanced Disposal, on Tuesday. Only then will the days be officially approved and advertised.
No extra fee will be charged for the curbside service.
To be eligible for the spring cleanup, customers must be in good standing as of Dec. 31. They also must register at City Hall.
“The process will work similar to previous years,” Gunby said.
A disagreement over contract language led to a delay in scheduling the annual spring cleanup days, according to Gunby.
The city government is in the last year of an arrangement with Advanced Disposal, a multi-state company with a western Pennsylvania office in Somerset County. In 2010, Johnstown signed an addendum to extend its collection agreement with Gallucci Sanitation Inc., which at that time was its service provider. Since then, a series of company purchases and consolidations have resulted in Advanced taking over the contract, Gunby said. Gallucci is no longer involved in the process.
The addendum states: “Gallucci Sanitation Inc. shall provide spring cleanup for each of the successive contractual years at no additional charge to the City of Johnstown.”
Gunby believes the wording means that Advanced, which took over Gallucci’s responsibilities, must provide spring cleanup for residents without adding another fee.
“When I say city, I mean city, as the City of Johnstown administratively and its residents,” said Gunby. “There is no cost for spring cleanup, and that spring cleanup will be provided as it has always been in the past, which was curbside, except for one year, which we agreed to try in 2011 to see how the drop-off (point) would work. That was horrible. That will never happen again.”
Advanced Disposal did not respond to multiple email and telephone requests for an interview made during the past few days.
The possibility of charging residents a $40 fee had been discussed by Advanced, according to Gunby. Johnstown residents had to pay a fee as recently as 2010.
“While some people might be able to afford the $40 fee, there are plenty of others who can’t,” Gunby said.
The dispute led to spring cleanup’s being scheduled later than usual this year.
“We apologize for the delay, but it is my job to make sure that I’m taking care of our residents,” Gunby said. “Needless to say, I’m not very happy with the current situation, but I have a right and responsibility to protect our citizens before acting upon anything that could impact them, in my mind, adversely.”