Q: Can you provide an update on garbage collection in Mandarin?
A: Many citizens are still dealing with missed or delayed yards, solid waste, and recycle pickups and we understand the frustration. As of May 1st, my office has received over 50 emails and over 40 phone calls on the matter. I sent a “enough is enough” letter to the mayor’s office asking for support. I received a response from John Pappas, Director of Public Works, in which he reiterated the challenges they face in terms of hiring sufficient staff. He said the solid waste department had reached out to commercial transport companies outside of the city to see if there was a way to get a contract for additional assistance. In addition, the city’s area contract freight forwarder has again increased its salary structure to increase its chances of filling vacancies. For a more long-term process improvement plan, the new Solid Waste Transfer Station is going through the contract phase. This will benefit this area the most as the average round-trip distance for disposing of the collection trucks will be reduced from 41.7 miles to 11.4 miles, leaving more time for actual waste collection than waste transportation.
Q: What can you tell us about the plans for the old Golden Corral property on San Jose Boulevard?
A: This is one of the occasions when projects occasionally come up that don’t make it onto my desk because the property is already zoned for that purpose. In this case, in my opinion, a daybreak market is planned, which will include a 4,800 m² convenience store with 20 petrol stations as well as a 2,300 m² fast food restaurant with a drive-through and a car wash.
Q: What happens to the Village Inn property that we discussed last month would become the Time Out Sports Bar?
A: The planning commission approved this with 6 to 0 votes, subject to conditions. I assume that this decision will be challenged by the citizens in the neighborhood behind the building. I would expect it to be picked up by the Land Use and Zoning Committee (LUZ) in July and then presented to the entire city council. To the best of my knowledge, inadequate parking and the possibility of on-street parking in the neighborhood are one of the main problems. There may also be an option to just turn right out of the house onto San Jose Boulevard and not use Haley Road.
Q: Do you know when the Mandarin Senior Center will reopen?
A: I think it is still used as a COVID site and hosts occasional meetings. I don’t expect it to open and re-launch its full schedule until July 1st.
Q: Do you have anything else to share with Mandarin?
A: I have been asked by the Mandarin Republican Club to write a two-page summary of the city council meetings, and I do this every two weeks, focusing on what I believe to be priorities. If you would like to be on the mailing list for this summary, please contact my office.
Q: How can our readers best contact you?
A: Community members can email me at [email protected] or call (904) 255-5206.