Supreme Court upholds lower court decision on St. Paul trash ordinance, sending it to November ballot

Supreme Court upholds lower court decision on St. Paul trash ordinance, sending it to November ballot Photo: KSTP

Updated: August 22, 2019 01:30 PM

The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed a court order Thursday that will put the future of St. Paul's organized trash collection system in the hands of voters.

The St. Paul City Council approved organized trash collection in November 2017. 


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However, a group of people in St. Paul challenged that authority and submitted a petition to let voters decide through a referendum. When the St. Paul City Council denied that petition, the group sued and won.

The decision comes a day before the deadline for getting a question on the November ballot.

To prepare for the possibility of a referendum, the St. Paul City Council has already called a special meeting for Friday at 4:30 p.m. to "consider whether to direct the City Clerk to notify the County Auditor to place a referendum" on the November ballot and "approving the title and language for that ballot."

St. Paul city officials released statements following the court's decision.

"We respect the decision from the Supreme Court and appreciate their clarity on how to proceed," Mayor Melvin Carter said. "The city will continue to ensure that garbage service continues uninterrupted, as we prepare for a referendum this fall." 

"We appreciate the swift action of the court in providing today's ruling," City Attorney Lyndsey Olson said. "We have already taken the necessary steps to ensure we can comply with the court's order." 

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