Garbage issue comes before Motley City Council

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

LeAnn Larson is not happy with her neighbors in Motley. She told the City Council members Tuesday night that her neighbors were putting their trash and recycling cans on her property at the corner of Poplar Lane and East River Road for garbage pickup, then leaving them there. She wanted it stopped.

“The (up to six) cans are left on my property, I get garbage in my yard and I have to constantly be picking it up,” she said. She also didn’t like the way it looked, saying she was proud of her property and wanted it to look nice.

One of her neighbors, Dee Thompson, said she is getting old and has a hard time dragging the trash can back and forth from her house to where the truck picks up the garbage on East River Road.

“We used to have permission to put it there,” she said.

While Thompson and her neighbors have an easement on Poplar Lane to place their trash cans, Larson does not want them placed there, either.

Council Member Steve Johnson said he had heard the neighbors who were using Larson’s property for their trash cans were willing to build a privacy fence to hide the cans. The fence would also prevent animals or wind from taking the garbage and spreading it on Larson’s land.

Larson said she didn’t want anything on her property. She also thought a privacy fence may impair visibility for drivers.

“I’m opposed to a fence on my road right-of-way. I won’t go along with that,” she said.

“For 15 years, I’ve put my cans on her property,” said Thompson. “I want it to continue.”

Thompson said the garbage trucks are unable to go down Poplar Lane because it’s a one-lane private dirt road and is unable to handle the large trucks, especially when wet.

Council Member Amy Hutchison said the Council cannot decide the issue between Larson and her neighbors.

“If LeAnn Larson doesn’t want other people’s garbage cans on her property, we cannot get involved,” she said. “The right of way is the only issue the Council can decide.”

Motley’s ordinance states trash cans must be placed off the road, on the right of way, for garbage pickup.

“It would be nice if you would be good neighbors and work this out,” said Sampson.

The Council voted 4-1 to allow the trash cans to be placed on the right of way on East River Road for the residents of Poplar Lane because of undue hardship and the unusual situation. The area must be made presentable to the neighbors and those who drive by.

Hutchison voted against the motion, stating she doesn’t feel the city should be involved.