A group of about two dozen concerned citizens prompted Newcomerstown Village Council last Monday to stop discussion on a village wide trash pick-up.

Those in attendance brought forth a petition -- signed by more than 325 village residents -- that do not support the village wide trash pick-up.

"I take a lot of pride in what I do," said David Russell of Russell Refuse in Newcomerstown. "I was born and raised here."

He said by having an outside company come in and provide trash hauling services, it would destroy his business.

"Make people decisions, not money decisions," Russell said.

By providing the village wide trash pick-up, residents would be charged an additional fee on their water/sewer bill. The village would in turn raise revenue in the village with this service.

One resident said it was wrong for the village to tell us, as consumers, what we should do.

The group of citizens said the proposal should be brought before voters to make the final decision, not council.

Mayor Jim Friel said he was excited to see the number of people come to council to voice their concerns. He said this is one way to get input from the community.

"I want to do something with support," Mayor Friel said.

However, there was little support for the measure.

Other concerns related to the idea where the weight of the larger trash trucks and the damage they would cause on village streets. Another resident asked about the elderly people in the community that can't haul a large trash container out to the curb. The local trash haulers know where the elderly keep their trash and they work with them.

A final decision on the matter is expected soon and may come as early as the next council meeting, Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m.

In other business, council further discussed the hotel/motel bed tax in the village. Heather Stein-Wells of the Finance Committee said they believe it is a good idea to increase the local hotel/motel bed tax from 3 percent to 6 percent.

"It would not cost our village residents anything," she said.

Village Solicitor Robert Stephenson said he would look up the appropriate code numbers and draw up the ordinance. However, the first and initial reading of the ordinance was given at the meeting.

Council also:

Heard from councilman Burris Gardner regarding the number of emergency and non-emergency calls that Tri-County Ambulance had in January. He said they had 51 calls with 33 runs in the village.

Heard from councilman Jim Carr who asked Stephenson to look into the advantages and disadvantages for the village to return to having a Park Board rather than a Recreation Board. He also said there will be Safety Committee meeting prior to the next council meeting at 6:15 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

Heard from councilmember Stein-Wells who said she wanted to thank the Street and Cemetery departments for removing the dangerous trees on Main, State and Bridge streets.

Adopted Resolution No. 3-12 Tuscarawas County Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Will be deciding what properties in the village to include in a possible oil/gas lease. Once they are known, a bid package will be advertised.

Learned that street paving in the village will start soon. "We're going to get started earlier this year," Mayor Friel said. In all, about 15 streets will be paved in 2012.