By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — For many years, the city trash service has picked up Cal Dunn's garbage.
He appeared before the City Council on April 10 and then again on Monday night to demand an explanation for why that service suddenly stopped, leaving the trash to pile up outside his home at 217 Garfield St.
To put it mildly, Dunn is not happy with the situation involving his rubbish.
"Maybe if I bring it down to the City Hall steps here, they would be willing to look into it quickly," he said at the Monday council meeting.
City Manager Scott Myers offered an explanation, but it didn't satisfy Dunn.
Dunn lives on a private road. The contract with the city's trash contractor says trash trucks are not to go onto private roads.
City snow plows and sanding vehicles are also not supposed to service private roads.
Dunn said he had a longstanding gentlemen's agreement with a previous Public Works manager under which Dunn would plow his own road, but the city would sand it, and the sanding truck would turn around in his driveway.
Over the winter, somebody at the city discovered his road was private and the sanding stopped. Dunn complained to the city, noting the truck was still using his private road to turn around.
Dunn feels that complaint precipitated the end of his trash service, in a kind of municipal tit for tat.
"We're being singled out," he said. "This is child's play by the city."
He noted that his brother lives on a private street nearby and does get trash service.
City Manager Scott Myers said that is subject to change.
"If that's not a public street, we should not be having the truck go down there," he said.
Myers said there are many private roads on which the city does not provide services.
There also may be some roads that are private but do get services, perhaps through an oversight, or because a contractor doesn't realize the road is not public.
In any case, Myers said a study will be done later this summer to classify all roads and to clear up gray areas and confusion.
Meanwhile, he's offered an alternative for Dunn. He can carry his trash down 300 feet of his private road and place it at the public street, where it will be picked up.
Cal Dunn stands near a utility post along a private road leading to his home. He is upset that a city trash contractor has stopped picking up his rubbish under a contract provision that its trucks are not supposed to go on private roads. (Rick Green/Laconia Daily Sun)
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