Busy restaurant traffic — especially in the summer — along with residential and other commercial users have taken their toll on the enclosed trash areas.
City officials hope to make the area shine with new fees designed to pay for maintenance.
“It is going to (have to) be high-level maintenance if it’s something we want to be presentable,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
Leaders have proposed a dumpster “intensity fee” on top of the regular rates charged to restaurant owners in the first block of Washington Avenue. The fee would cover the cost to routinely clean the enclosures.
A local company would charge $5,360 per year to maintain the dumpsters, and the proposed fee would cover the cost of this service. It would be charged to Kirby, 22 Below and Pavilion Wharf Bar & Grille — the three restaurants that use the city’s dumpster compactor. The other first-block eateries have private trash areas.
“The cost is spread out on the downtown restaurant owners because we think the vast majority of slop is coming from the kitchens,” McGinnis said. “We did meet with all of the restaurant owners and agreed the fee should be based on the number of seats.”
Each of the three restaurants would pay a base fee of $446.62. Owners would then pay an additional charge based on the number of seats in the restaurant.
“When you get that high of volume, it gets messy in a hurry,” McGinnis said. “(The cleaner) will go in there and, three days later, I’ll get an e-mail from people with photos attached, and it is disgusting again.”
Tim Riley, manager of Kirby, said he and his employees have worked to make things shine, and noted that there are a lot of people and businesses downtown who use the dumpsters.
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