HARTVILLE  Hartville Village Council has denied a request from Kimball Companies to add a 14 cent per week, per customer surcharge to offset recent increases in recycling costs worldwide.

At the Nov. 20 village council meeting, Mayor Cynthia Billings said the request from Kimball comes in light of China’s recent announcement that it would not accept any U.S. recyclables due to contamination levels.

"This has left recyclers either putting recyclables in a landfill or sitting on them," Billings said. "Kimball is sitting on theirs and they aren’t making any money on it."

Village Solicitor Ron Starkey said that the village contract with Kimball, which is in effect through 2020, prohibits additional surcharges.

"My feeling is they are probably surcharging all their clients and read our contract and found out they could not. So they are asking."

Starkey and Billings both stated that allowing such a surcharge could set a precedent, leading to further surcharges for fuel and other costs.

"They have a right to cancel the contract if they feel they are not making money," Starkey said.

Councilwoman Bev Green asked Billings how close the increase would come to the village’s second best refuse contract bid, from Republic Services. Billings said the increase would still keep costs well below the Republic bid.

The request was denied by a unanimous vote of council.

Tax credit discussed

In the wake of the village’s most recent failed attempt to pass an income tax levy Nov. 6, the village finance committee met Nov. 13 and discussed the possible elimination of a 100 percent income tax credit for village residents who work and pay income tax outside Hartville.

Councilwoman and finance committee chair Kelly Ries said eliminating the credit could bring $300,000 into the village annually. Green, however, said she opposes the action.

"I don’t think this is fair. You are punishing people because they can’t find a job in the village," she said, adding that the move would bring in less than the tax levy would have, while contradicting a majority of the electorate that supported the tax credit.

Veteran of the Year

Recognized Korean War veteran and Hartville resident Donald E. Myers as the village’s 2018 Veteran of the Year.

"I’d like to thank everyone who had anything to do with this," Myers said after being presented the award by village resident, Mike Ringer, who organizes much of the village’s Memorial and Veteran’s Day ceremonies.

Myers went on to recount his time in Korean that spanned often unforeseen stints as a gunner in the United States Army 89th tank battalion, a typist who was somehow overlooked for a security clearance until 10 days before his discharge, and putting his physical education degree to use building tennis courts for soldiers stationed on the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Other actions

Council also approved a contract with Ellis Erb to complete the estimated $42,000 replacement of all windows in village hall and announced Dec. 15 as the Hartville Police Department’s 2018 Shop with a Cop day. Police Chief Larry Dordea said the department is taking donations and hopes to collect $1,200 to shop with eight children this year.