ELWOOD — The Elwood City Council on Monday unanimously tabled a proposed ordinance that would require businesses in the uptown historic district to provide covers to their dumpsters until a provision can be added to cover requirements for multi-family housing throughout the city.

The requirement for covers is intended to enhance the city’s aesthetic objectives and reduce any threat to public health, safety, environment and general welfare, according to the proposal.

“I would say we need it,” said Councilman John Wright.

The proposed ordinance would require all dumpsters to “be properly covered and maintained in enclosures.” The dumpsters also would require “covers, doors, floors and sides sufficient to prevent loss of contents by wind, by leakage, or by animals.”

Permanent enclosures would be required unless the dumpster area is shielded by other structures in such a way that they would be “reasonably inconspicuous” to passers-by on streets, sidewalks and nearby properties, according to the proposed ordinance.

The definition of “dumpster,” according to the proposed ordinance, does not apply to ordinary household trash receptacles that can hold less than 50 gallons or less or recycling containers that can hold 96 gallons or less.

Councilman Timothy Roby raised the question of whether the ordinance would cover multi-family housing.

“There’s a lot of multiple unit situations where they don’t have dumpsters,” he said.

In response to Roby’s concerns, Elwood Mayor Todd Jones said considering an expansion of the ordinance would be a good idea.

“We want to clean up this city, clean up this community. That would help,” Jones said about adding the multi-family buildings to the ordinance.

Though no one had a definitive answer, Councilwoman Linda Moore said she was concerned about how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect the availability of construction materials that would allow the uptown businesses to comply with the proposed ordinance.

As a resident, Moore added, she really doesn’t want to be within view of dumpsters used for multi-family housing.

Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.

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