The Hopkinsville Committee of the Whole discussed recycling issues with Tony Sicari, the general manager of Hopkinsville Solid Waste Enterprise Thursday night at their regular meeting.

Sicari gave the committee an annual report detailing how many materials were recovered for recycling in 2018.

According to his report, the enterprise recovered 2,229.29 tons of material in 2018, which is an increase of 546.93 tons increase compared to 2017.

Sicari explained that the increase is a positive for his agency, however, there is a concern that if recycling doesn't earn more revenue within the next two years, the enterprise may have to consider dropping the program. Sicari explained that the way the market is moving, many recycling programs around the country are having to be cut due to costs being higher than the return the programs are seeing.

Councilman Wendell Lynch asked Sicari if the enterprise will have to consider dropping the program in order for the company to recover. Sicari explained that if the recycling program's revenue does not turn around and begin making a profit over its costs, that will be a very real possibility.

Sicari also shared that the relatively new curbside recycling program currently has 700 customers while the goal is 3,000 in order to break even with the program.

At previous city council meetings, the council approved the program despite Sicari sharing that the enterprise would be taking on another roughly $100,000 deficit. However, council member felt the program was necessary and beneficial in the long run.

During the police department quarterly report, Police Chief Clayton Sumner explained to the committee that the plan for the department is to use a portion of its budget and split that portion in half, purchasing new police vehicles with one half and a mobile command center with the other.

Sumner shared that normally every year, the department budgets a 3 to 7 % increase for police utility vehicles, however, this year the increase was 25%. Sumner said the increase wasn't expected and he could not have predicted it.

Due to the increase, the department won't be able to split its moneys to purchase the mobile command center. Instead, those funds will be used entirely on new police utility vehicles.

During new business, the committee voted to forward a request to city council at its next meeting to rename the Human Relations Commission. That request comes from the commission.

Councilman Terry Parker explained that the commission is to be renamed the "Human Rights Commission."

In a memorandum from the commission, its members wrote that the recommendation to change the name was to reflect an alignment with the direction of the state, federal and international commissions, who have also renamed their commissions human rights commissions rather than using the term "human relations."

The committee unanimously voted to forward the recommendation as an ordinance at the next city council meeting slated for Aug. 6.

The committee also approved a downtown incentive request for Michael Venable, who is asking for the incentives to be reimbursed payroll tax for his agency, Michael Venable Insurance Agency Inc.

Holly Boggess, the assistant director of Community and Development Services, explained that Venable is not creating a new business with new jobs, but is instead relocating his business to downtown Hopkinsville.

The committee ultimately agreed to forward the request to the next city council meeting.

Troy Body, Hopkinsville city administrator, also shared with the committee that the mayor and city officials are planning on looking at the area of Windmill Farms to annex additional lands to potentially add more houses to the city.

Body said it was a "heads up" that the city is looking into it, and he said a report will be brought before the next committee meeting in August.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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