No decision yet on trash
Clintonville still reviewing bids
By Bert Lehman
The city of Clintonville received proposals from four local garbage and recycling haulers as it tries to move to license only trash collector for city residents.
The city had hoped to approve one of the proposals at the Jan. 10 city council meeting. But after the proposals were opened at the Jan. 3 Street Committee meeting, Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell recommended the committee not make a recommendation to the council until city staff could compare the bids.
He said extra time was needed since not all the bids were submitted in the same format. The extra time would also allow the city to clarify information with the garbage and recycling haulers.
The request for proposal sent out by the city asked refuse haulers to submit proposals as to what the cost would be for each company to pick up garbage and recycling for city residents. The request also asked the companies to differentiate what the cost would be if the city invoiced residents versus if the companies invoiced residents.
After the proposals were read, committee member Jim Supanich asked if the proposals included an opt-out for residents who wanted to continue to use the Clintonville Area Waste Service.
Kell said an opt-out provision was included in the request for proposal.
Joint committee meeting
The city’s Safety and Ordinance Committee and city council members of the CAWS board met jointly immediately after the Street Committee meeting. The move toward licensing only one garbage and recycling hauler was on the agenda since a city ordinance needs to be changed before such a system could be implemented.
When discussing the new ordinance, Julie Stumbris, chairwoman of the CAWS board, said she noticed the new ordinance submitted to the committees did not include an opt-out clause for city residents who wished not to participate in a single hauler system.
City Attorney Keith Steckbauer told the committees that he researched city ordinances on the subject from a variety of municipalities. He said several of the ordinances were the same and he used portions from those ordinances.
He added that since the city now has proposals from different companies for pickup, the ordinance can be tailored around the proposal the city chooses.
Steckbauer said having an opt-out for citizens is up to the city council.
Stumbris said she’d like to see an opt-out included in the ordinance that includes a provision that allows residents to decide each year whether they want to be part of the garbage and recycling pickup or opt out and use CAWS.
Supanich agreed that residents should be able to decide each year if they want to opt out.
“I have a lot of people that I talked to in my district that really still want that opt-out capability, whether they use it or not,” Supanich said.
Supanich also questioned using the terminology “yard waste” as part of the ordinance.
Stumbris said the city currently handles leaves and brush. Grass clippings have to be hauled and disposed of by residents at a location next to the CAWS facility.
“We need to explicitly define what we are talking about because right now it is brush and leaves,” CAWS board member Lance Bagstad said. “If we just leave it as ‘Yard waste is going to be picked up by the city,’ we’re going to have piles of grass.”
Clintonville Clerk/Treasurer Peggy Johnson asked how the billing would be done for those residents wishing to participate in the one hauler garbage and recycling pickup program. She said she wasn’t in favor of the opt-out for residents. She then asked if renters or landlords were going to be invoiced.
“If you are going out after the tenants, we’re creating quite an administrative nightmare because every month when there are address changes, people are moving in and out, somebody also now has to be monitoring the notices to the haulers,” Johnson said.
Johnson said most communities do not offer an opt-out.
She said one way to do the invoicing would to include the cost on the tax bill for property owners.
Safety and Ordinance Committee Chairman Brad Rokus said if an opt-out is included, it should be for property owners and not renters. He said landlords could pass that cost on to their tenants.
Johnson said the council would have to decide who is in charge of the administrative tasks an opt-out option presents since not all city departments have administrative staff.
She added that not having an opt-out option should help lessen the garbage complaints in the city, which would lessen the burden on the city’s health inspector.
Council President Mike Hankins said the city removed itself from garbage collection a while back, and he recommended it not get back into it anymore than it has to. He also recommended providing an opt-out option.
Supanich said if an opt-out option is not provided, it will impact CAWS, which would require an analysis on that impact.
Johnson also stated that after discussions with Kell, the city would have to invoice the first year in advance because it can’t front the money.
“If you’re starting in 2017, we can’t wait until the (tax) collection in 2018 for that,” Johnson said.
Hankins said if the city has the garbage hauler invoice and collect the fees from residents all the above problems are eliminated.
Based on the proposals the city received from the haulers, it would cost residents more if the hauler did the invoicing and collecting.
The committees voted to have the city attorney make the discussed changes to the proposed ordinance, which they will review in the future.