One Man’s Trash? - Mount Carroll September Committee Meeting Notes
By MICK PARSONS | For The Prairie Advocate News
MOUNT CARROLL – Highlights from this month’s city committee meetings include one alderman wanting to dig through the garbage looking for gold and another being worried about playhouses being used for storage buildings. The Cemetery Committee made a recommendation to accept a bid from Moore Monuments in Sterling to work on 23 headstones in need of repair.
During the meeting of the Solid Waste Committee, City Clerk Julie Cuckler told the committee that while updating the Request For Proposal (RFP), representatives from Moring asked whether the Tuesday pick-up was going to be part of the new contract. Cuckler told Moring she wasn’t sure whether it was “set in stone or or not.”
“I indicated that was our current agreement, and that we would have to do something mutually agreeable to all parties,” Cuckler added.
Mayor Carl Bates said “Obviously, that would be something we’d talk about.” Bates also said that while he was stopping short of asking the committee for a recommendation, that the topic of the RFP and city’s garbage contract be placed on the agenda for the Tuesday, September 25th meeting.
Alderman Doris Bork added that she would like to have something included about dumpsters - some around town are being picked up earlier than 6 in the morning – the time when Moring is supposed to start street side pick up on Tuesdays.
“The dumpsters are not city contract,” said Mayor Carl Bates. He added that something ought to be said about it. “It’s been mentioned several times,” the mayor said. “And it’s been in the paper.”
Alderman Sisler reported that after a discussion with Carroll County Treasurer Diane Powers, he feels more strongly about trying to get whoever wins the city’s garbage contract to pay Mount Carroll for the recycling it hauls away. And even though the new RFP was ready, Sisler suggested holding up the bid process so that he could further investigate whether the city can, in fact, find revenue buried in the garbage.
“What we need to understand,” said the mayor, “is whether it’s a fee or it’s a charge. There’s a difference. You keep talking like it’s a fee.”
“I’m saying that it’s a potential source of revenue,” Sisler said.
“And I don’t disagree with you,” answered the mayor. “We just need to understand what it is.”
The general consensus of everyone present seemed to be that it won’t hurt anything and could benefit the city if it turns out that the county is doing the same thing. As reported in last week’s Prairie Advocate, however, the money received by the county isn’t tied to recycling, but to the tonnage of trash dumped at the transfer station east of Lanark.
“But just to keep saying there’s money in it,” Bates said, “we just don’t know if that’s a fact.”
“We do know there’s money in recyclables,” Sisler insisted. “We know that, and we’re paying him to take it away.” Sisler maintained that he didn’t see why it would hurt to include a payment to the city for its recyclables as part of the bid. “He may only bid at a penny a pound,” Sisler said. “Or if he didn’t bid anything.”
Mayor Bates said that if the city does ask for a bid on recyclables, that it needs to be in a separate RFP, not included in the RFP for the city’s garbage contract. Sisler also pointed out that there are other elements of the county’s contract with Moring Disposal that the city ought to look at maybe incorporating into future contracts. For example, Sisler said, the county pays the same rate over the life of the contract, regardless of a rise in the cost of fuel.
During the License and Ordinance Committee Meeting, Chairman Tom Charles suggested a change to city ordinance that would require a building permit for building “Children’s Recreational Structure.” The actual permit would cost nothing; it would mostly involve the property owner stopping by City Hall and filling out a form. Charles handed out a version of such an ordinance – for the purposes of discussion only – which also placed a single restriction on a kid’s clubhouse: that it not be converted into a storage shed once the kids are too big to play with it.
The issue was brought up because one of Mount Carroll’s Zoning Officers noticed a structure he believed required a permit.
Sheri Traum of the Cemetery Committee reported that Moore Monuments offered a bid of $3000 to complete work on 23 stones at the Mount Carroll Cemetery in need of repair. She also said that Moore offered to throw in an additional $500 worth of work for free – though it’s unclear exactly what the work will entail. The committee made a recommendation that the full council accept the bid during the next regular meeting on September 25th.