City representatives to meet with CAWS
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville should do what it needs to do regarding garbage and recycling pick-up.
That was the message from the Clintonville Area Waste Service (CAWS) that was relayed to the Clintonville Street Committee at its July 26 meeting by Chairwoman Julie Stumbris.
Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell said there are a number of ways the city can cooperate with CAWS.
After some discussion about having city representatives meet with CAWS representatives, Stumbris suggested the city develop a more concrete plan of what it wants to do, before that meeting is arranged.
She said her vision would be for the city to move to a one hauler pick-up system, and collecting the fees via the utility bill.
She did say she has been approached by citizens who wondered if everyone would have to participate if the city went to a one hauler system, or if citizens could still use CAWS.
“No matter which way we go somebody’s going to complain and say it would have been cheaper this way,” said Toby Kersten, Public Works director for the city of Clintonville. “I need uniform garbage pick-up so people aren’t hoarding it.”
He said uniform garbage pick-up would also reduce traffic on city streets.
“I’d like to see us move forward aggressively,” Kersten said.
Committee member Lance Bagstad said the single hauler contract made the most sense for the city. He said companies who contract for garbage pick-up are better able to deal with broken equipment and sick employees.
He also said if the city contracts with one hauler, all residents have to be part of the contract. He added that citizens could possibly still work with CAWS for large items that need to be disposed of.
Kell agreed that contracting with one vendor was probably the best option.
“We just cut a million dollars of debt,” Kell said. “This (city doing garbage and recycling pick-up) is going to require another half million dollars of debt to go into this business.”
He said a three or five year contact with a single hauler would be the best way to start. The city could add it as a city service in the future.
“I don’t think right now is the time to buy the equipment and make that investment because we’re having to slash everywhere else to try to keep our head above water in terms of debt,” Kell said.
Kersten told the committee that the Street Department could handle garbage and recycling pick-up.
Kell said he also thought the city could handle it operationally, but the capital investment up front would be difficult.
Kell recommended meeting with CAWS representatives before the city seeks bids from haulers.
Stumbris will work with CAWS to set up a meeting.