Patience. Civility. Appreciation.

Patience. Civility. Appreciation.

Three simple words.

Virtues we all aspire to and hope others will exhibit toward us in return.

On Saturday several people seem to have lost sight of what these words mean.

The vast majority of Bear Lake Township residents who regularly come to the twice monthly Saturday morning garbage collection, are wonderful people who are patient, civil and highly appreciative of the service paid for from the Township general operating funds.

And then there are the others.

When our Allied Waste driver has to walk away to escape a torrent of uncalled for threatening verbal abuse, something is very wrong.

When people who are volunteering their time to help those who need it, or to keep traffic flowing smoothly, are equally subject to the same frightening level of anger – something is very wrong.

When people try to bully their way to take advantage of, and ignore, the same rules which keep the service fair for all the rest – we draw the line.

To recap the rules:

Garbage and Recycling Services are paid for from the 1.5 mills the Township actually receives for operating expenses from your Property Taxes. The vast majority of your payment goes toward schools and County programs.

From that 1.5 mills, the Township pays for road repairs, upkeep of two cemeteries, upkeep of the Township/Fire Hall, payments toward the Keddie Norconk Library, Planning and Zoning, Tax Assessor, payments back to the County for financial services and the annual Audit.

In surrounding Townships, garbage collection is funded by its own voted millage.

$32,000 is budgeted annually from the General Fund by Bear Lake Township toward providing garbage and recycling service.

For the benefit of those decidedly uncivil individuals who threatened us on Saturday:

There has never been a ‘Spring Clean Up’ – there is no extra money in the budget to pay for one.

If you would like a ‘Spring Clean Up’ we will charge by the cubic foot for the cost of additional trucks and driver.

Twice a month does indeed mean that in certain months you may have a 3 week gap.

The dates of Saturday morning service can be found here on my web site or on the back of your Garbage Pass Card.

If you are not a Bear Lake resident we can’t accept your trash.

The limit of 3 bags per week per household is to ensure we are fair to all and have enough room in the truck.

Yes we could, and sometimes do get an extra truck – which costs more.

If you would like garbage pick up every week, including extended hours – would you be willing to pay for a Millage to support it? Because those who currently volunteer will not do so every week.

Yes you do have other options – you can get curb side pick up – call Allied Waste to arrange at 231 723 4850

You can also buy pre-paid ‘pick up’ bags from either Saddle Up Gas Station or Bear Lake Ace Hardware. 

Yes, if there is still room on the truck at the close of business we may take bulkier items.

No, this does NOT mean trucking in trailers full of building materials, carpet etc. Again a roll off dumpster can be obtained from Allied for very reasonable rates.

This service is for ‘household’ garbage – period.

Yes we know your time is important to you – those who volunteer on Saturdays go out of their way to get you in and out in a prompt fashion – but your time is not more important than anyone else waiting in line. Patience is a virtue and swearing or berating anyone there will not get you in and out any faster. Neither will questioning anyone’s parentage or mental capacity.

Yes, those who leave us wondering if any of this is really worth it are few and far between. And perhaps we just had more than the average this Saturday.

But garbage service is something we do AS a service – and we thank all those who just shook their heads or rolled their eyes at the complete lack of appreciation shown by the vocal, impatient, uncivil, unappreciative few.

Vern Best

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