February 9, 2016

Gardner council to examine trash hauling, truck route elimination

Danedri Thompson
There may be new trash regulations coming to Gardner. City council members will discuss whether to contract trash services through a city bidding process at a future meeting.
Officials were debating how to handle truck traffic in the city when they decided there may be an opportunity to decrease road maintenance costs by regulating trash haulers.
Currently, Gardner residents hire their own trash service from a variety of companies including Gardner Disposal, Ottawa Sanitation, L&K Services, and Defenbaugh.
Brian Faust, public works director, said regulating the number of trash trucks on city roads at any one given time may limit future road maintenance costs.
Faust mentioned the possibility during a presentation about truck routes in Gardner. Currently, Main Street or U.S. 56 Highway, Center Street or Gardner Road, 167th Street and Moonlight Road are designated truck routes. Per the existing 2010 city ordinance, trucks can use any roads if they are making local deliveries.
City council members, however, expressed concerns that intermodal semi-trucks are exiting Interstate 35 at Gardner Road and using 191st Street to access the BNSF intermodal. Although the Kansas Department of Transportation has put signs on I-35 notifying trucks to use the Homestead Lane exit, many drivers continue to use the Gardner Road exit.
Council member Larry Fotovich said he has a problem with large, corrugated metal trucks driving through town, possibly to avoid the truck scales on I-35 north of Gardner.
“Container trucks are using Gardner Road as a freeway,” Fotovich said.
He said it’s only a matter of time before there is a horrific truck accident involving an 18-wheeler truck on Gardner Road.
“It’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s a ticking time bomb.”
Faust listed several options to deal with truck traffic, including maintaining the existing truck routes, eliminating some of the current designated routes, or eliminating all routes and allowing through trucks on only U.S. 56 Highway. He also suggested that the city could contract trash hauling in town and bill the service as a city utility.
Faust said another possibility would be additional signage telling drivers where truck routes exist and to utilize the Homestead Lane/I-35 interchange.
“This is already happening,” he told council members.
Faust also said truck drivers will ignore some routing signage, no matter what council decides.
Better enforcement of existing truck rules in Gardner will also help, he explained. Improved enforcement is also already occurring. The Gardner Police Department has one officer trained to do extensive truck inspections. The department does not have truck scales, however. Police Chief Gerald Cullumber said a portable truck scale would cost approximately $30,000.
“There are some things we need to get in place so we can address the problem,” Cullumber said. He asked that officers be allowed to get out and enforce existing truck regulations before changing them.
Faust said that eliminating all truck routes in the city may affect businesses. For example, he said truck drivers won’t legally be allowed to stop into a convenience store and grab a piece of pizza.
Council member Heath Freeman agreed that eliminating the truck routes through town would be short-sighted
Freeman was overruled, however. Council members reached a consensus to eliminate all truck routes with the exception of U.S. 56 Highway, or Main Street. The road is controlled by the state, and the city does not have authority to limit trucks on that thoroughfare.
Council members did not address trash hauling again until the end of the meeting. Right before adjournment, Fotovich said he would like the city to consider regulating trash haulers in some fashion. Specifically, he suggested a bidding process that would allow haulers to bid for hauling contracts in different parts of the city. While several council members said they did not initially like the idea, they said they are willing to entertain a discussion.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    I cannot help but wonder if the City Mgr. and the Mayor made the issue of trash trucks as a diversion to the more important issue of intermodal trucks traveling within the city of Gardner. People seem to be all upset about being able to choose their trash hauler, as I believe they should be able to do so, which takes the attention away from the more important issue of intermodal trucks traveling within the city limits of Gardner. More than once I have seen conniving and manipulation utilized by the politicians and bureaucrats to get the thieves what they want. Citizens better be very verbal about keeping those intermodal trucks from traveling here and there within the city limits – to me that issue is of highest importance and the citizens better be loud and clear about not having those trucks within our city limits to eliminate astronomical costs that would be brought upon them and to say nothing about the safety concerns citizens would be facing.

    The slime continues to flow in Topeka where HB 2473 has been introduced by the Federal & State Affairs Committee. This committee is chaired by Rep. Steve Brunk and other committee members who are as follows. To me anyone supporting this bill is not someone I want in office and for very good reasons.

    Vice Chair

    Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady

    Ranking Minority Member

    Rep. Louis Ruiz


    Rep. Larry Campbell
    Rep. J. R. Claeys
    Rep. Susan Concannon
    Rep. Erin Davis
    Rep. Willie Dove
    Rep. Keith Esau
    Rep. Bud Estes
    Rep. John Ewy
    Rep. Shanti Gandhi
    Rep. Broderick Henderson
    Rep. Brett Hildabrand
    Rep. Michael Houser
    Rep. Emily Perry
    Rep. Reid Petty
    Rep. Marty Read
    Rep. Allan Rothlisberg
    Rep. Annie Tietze
    Rep. Ponka-We Victors
    Rep. Troy Waymaster
    Rep. Valdenia Winn

    If the Republican legislators get this bill approved and Brownback approves it, then it will be another reminder to me how sick Kansas and its citizens really are. This is election year in Kansas and citizens better be thinking long and hard about who they will be enabling and supporting for office and citizens better be informed on what candidates really stand for and you do that by, in part, knowing what their words, actions, inaction and voting records are rather than voting because of signs in yards or someone telling you that he or she is a good ole guy or gal.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    Allow me to piggy-back on Judith’s comment with a couple remarks. Kansas HB 2473 would prohibit cities and counties from restricting the open carry of firearms and knives, and using tax dollars to administer gun buyback programs. In my opinion, this would just be adding insult to injury and I encourage legislators to kill this measure immediately and move on to something that benefits the vast majority of state residents. However, knowing the likelihood of that happening, here is the link to follow the progress of the bill as it flies through committee hearings unscathed.


    HB 2473 is backed by the National Rifle Association and Kansas State Rifle Association whose
    representatives evidently feel the vocal minority of Kansans who are gun owners shouldn’t have to contend with a hodgepodge of local rules governing their rights to carry guns. Fine and dandy, but who caused all this confusion to begin with? One need look no further than the NRA/KSRA-sponsored governor and his servile legislature, in my opinion.

    State legislators who preached before, during and after their campaigns for election about the evils
    of big government and its heavy-handed laws and regualtions have apparently had a change of
    heart and have decided instead to become Kansans’ Big Brother. They are marching down a path
    towards the confiscation of home rule authority from our smaller local governing bodies by
    controlling the destiny of our health, welfare and quality of life from the Capitol Building in Topeka.

    I recall reading about this type of activity many years ago during world history classes in school. It made me uncomfortable then and it scares the hell out of me now. It’s difficult to have faith in those who have no respect for you.

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Citizens should also take a look at HB2431 (shown below) also introduced by the Federal and State Affairs Committee with respect to knives and how they don’t want any local control on them. Damnest thing I have ever seen in my life as to what these legislators and the Governor are doing with the safety/well being of its people. To me this is how Nazi Germany got their start. People who vote for Sutton and sidekicks of his kind need to have brain transplants in my opinion. As I said before, the slime continues to pour in Topeka and evidently across the state…………..sick extremism is alive and well in our communities evidently and no good will come from it as far as I am concerned. This is how those legislators spend their time and this is how your tax dollars are spent and those legislators even legislate to get a KPERs retirement based on hours THEY DO NOT WORK. Not government at work……….moral corruption at work. Barry Grissom and Mr. Holder need to start taking action as to the unconstitutional legislation taking place in Kansas since the people certainly aren’t doing their jobs.

    Session of 2014
    HOUSE BILL No. 2431
    By Committee on Federal and State Affairs
    AN ACT concerning regulation of knives; amending K.S.A. 2013 Supp.
    12-16,134 and repealing the existing section.
    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
    Section 1. K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 12-16,134 is hereby amended to read as
    follows: 12-16,134. (a) A municipality shall not enact any ordinance,
    resolution, rule or tax relating to the transportation, possession, carrying,
    sale, transfer, purchase, gift, devise, licensing, registration or use of a knife
    or knife making components.
    Any such ordinance, resolution, rule or tax
    adopted on or before June 30, 2014, shall be null and void.
    (b) A municipality shall not enact any ordinance, resolution or rule
    relating to the manufacture of a knife that is more restrictive than any such
    ordinance, resolution or rule relating to the manufacture of any other
    commercial goods.
    Any such ordinance, resolution, rule or tax adopted on
    or before June 30, 2014, shall be null and void.
    (c) As used in this section:
    (1) “Knife” means a cutting instrument and includes a sharpened or
    pointed blade.
    (2) “Municipality” has the same meaning as defined in K.S.A. 75-
    6102, and amendments thereto, but shall not include school districts, jails
    as defined in K.S.A. 38-2302, and amendments thereto, and juvenile
    correctional facilities as defined in K.S.

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