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Hoisington woman proposes can corral option to council
Hoisington can corral
A Hoisington patron addresses the city council concerning comments about her can corral, a structure she had built in order to keep trash cans from blowing away. - photo by Veronica Coons

HOISINGTON — During the public comment portion of Monday’s Hoisington City Council meeting, a patron, Shawna Beren, addressed the council concerning discussion that concerned her at the previous meeting on Nov. 12. Councilman Jim Morris alerted the council about the recent placement of a structure at the curb in front of her house designed to corral her trash cans. While he noted that several neighbors he talked to about the structure were not concerned, Jonathan Mitchell, the city manager, stated the city code says trash cans cannot be kept by the curb. 

Beren had a concrete pad poured by the curb and had a wooden structure built to keep the wind from knocking over her trash cans. She told council members back problems and arthritis make it a hardship for her to retrieve the cans when high winds blow them over and down the street. 

She said she asked permission to pour a concrete slab when she had a circular driveway poured earlier. She also admitted she pushed the envelope when she had the corral built. It was her hope, however, that the council would consider allowing the structure, as well as others like them, and even suggested the city build them and provide them to residents for a minimal monthly fee, though that would be out of reach for some on fixed incomes. 

The problem, she said, was widespread among the elderly and disabled in the community. 

“So you are requesting they (council members) research a policy change or allow a place to stage or store trash cans,” Mitchell asked. 

“Well heck yeah,” Beren said. 

Discussion continued about preferred locations to store trash cans, and the need to keep them out of the streets after they are emptied. 

Councilman Gary Shook said he thought the corral was a great idea, and he wished he had one. He agreed the challenge of moving cans to and from the curb was burdensome for some residents due to age or infirmity. 

However, Councilwoman Chris Smith pointed out the sanitation company the city contracts with will provide a walk-down service for residents 65 years of age or older, or for customers who are legally disabled. 

Discussion continued well past the specified three minutes provided for patrons' comments, Mitchell noted. In the interest of addressing all agenda items, he thanked Beren for her comments, and some council members agreed the topic could be considered further at a later date.