Conducting city business from the Amarillo Civic Center Grand Plaza ballroom in the wake of a broken water pipe at City Hall earlier in the day, the Amarillo City Council took the first step Tuesday toward revising the city’s solid waste collection ordinance.

City Manager Jared Miller said the change of venue from the council chamber to the Civic Center was spurred by a water pipe break that occurred in a women’s restroom on the third floor of City Hall around 2:30 p.m. Miller said the water flow flooded the council chamber and caused damage to the building’s elevator circuitry, rendering the elevators unusable. Subsequently the decision was made to move the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Council voted 5-0 to approve the first reading of the revision to Ordinance 7732. Officials said a second reading would be needed during next week’s council meeting to make the act official.

The measure would provide for collection of solid waste utilizing rollout carts for the automated curbside collection program, officials said, in addition to enabling the Solid Waste Division to provide curbside collection of trash in areas considered unsafe because of dead end alleys, dumpsters in the street or on walkways, in front yards and areas with hand collection.

“We’re looking at changes to give us the ability to automate curbside service, but keep in mind this is not a citywide initiative," Raymond Lee, the city’s Public Works director, said. “This will impact those who have dumpsters in their front yards or in alleys. Another change this ordinance addresses is giving residents instructions on how to dispose of their bulky and brush items. This pushes forward with our curbside program, allowing individuals to call the solid waste department and schedule their pickup before they actually put their item on the curb. We will also have changes to illegal dumping, dumpster maintenance and a new structure for our compost facility.”

Lee said the revised measure would also allow for the implementation of permit fees and modification of ordinance language that has changed over the years.

“We’re looking at late fall, early winter by the time everything comes together,” Lee said with regard to the revisions. “We would like to get citizens educated on the system, because we don’t want to roll out a program they don’t understand. We want to make sure the education and marketing piece is solidified to the point they understand the do’s and don’ts with their cart.”