Moring Disposal Awarded Bid for Savanna Garbage and Recycling Service
By MICHAEL MILLER | For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – The Savanna City Council accepted the bid from Moring Disposal, of Freeport, Illinois, for the City’s garbage collection and recycling service, at their regular February 12th, 2013 meeting at 333 Chicago Avenue. The new contract will begin on May of 2013 (the company presently has a contract with the City for this service as well, that will extend into this date) and will be in place for four consecutive years. The cost to the City will be $9.15 per collection/unit/month, which is down slightly from the previous $11.12. The drop in cost, Robinson said, was due to the company attempting to be more competitive as well as the dropping of the yard waste service.
Attendees at the meeting included Council members Bill Scott, Bill Robinson, Merle Long, Peg Haffey, Jeff Griswold, Tony McCombie, Carol Fosdick and Lois Hunsaker. Mayor Larry Stebbins, City Clerk Paul Hartman, and City Attorney Phil Jensen were also present. In observance of President’s Day, all the department heads had a paid holiday and were not present.
Requests for funds took up the majority of the meeting, with Finance Committee Chairman Robinson detailing a lengthy list. The fire department received up to $2,000.00 for fire bay door openers, as well as $1,785.00 to send three firefighters to a Firefighter Academy Two-raining session.
Public Works requested funding for a public works project to upgrade a maintenance building and cold storage shed, and Finance recommended approving the request, up to $7,000.00.
Public Works made another request, for a $1,000.00 sump pump for the Bowen Street lift station. They also requested funds for a portable oxygen meter and three fluoride chemical dosage scales. at a maximum price of $5,000.00.
Stebbins noted that the company that will install iFiber for the City has noted several requirements from the City that have not yet been fulfilled, and the Council briefly discussed the difficulty of doing this due to not having enough information regarding environmental requirements and specifications. “How can we move forward when we don’t know what they want?” Griswold asked. Stebbins commented that the company will be in touch with the City and supply further information.
The mayor also discussed what he deemed the apparent dissatisfaction of MediaCom as an internet provider for the City officials, and favored using iFiber for this service. He indicated that the cost of $100.00 per month, and another internet provider is needed.
Jensen said that Mediacom appeared to be “unilaterally reducing” the City’s reimbursement in their franchise agreement, which has been an ongoing thorn in the City’s side. The attorney mentioned various legal responses to this action, including a breach of contract suit against the company, and recommended making the issue an agenda item for the next meeting. “It would appear to be shocking,” Jensen added, referring to what the company is attempting to do.
Election Night Meeting Questioned
McCombie opposed the notion of having a regular meeting on April 9th, which also happens to be election night for several members of the Council. She had previously requested postponing/rescheduling this meeting, and utilized her time during Final Comments to elaborate on her reasoning. She noted she’d researched the matter in the Open Meetings Act and found no reason this could not be done.
Stebbins said she’d indicated that it might be “awkward” to be facing an opponent in a meeting, and McCombie said that was indeed part of her reasoning, along with preferring to be with family during such a time. She went on to say that this was apparently a common practice in other communities. She added that her suggestions to the Mayor seem to be “disregarded.”
“This is not a dictatorship and I don’t think anyone has the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without consideration,” McCombie said.
Safety Issues Noted
Hunsaker again brought up the issue of a home on Chicago Avenue that she felt should be made more safe for the public and was concerned that if someone should be injured at or around this location, the City might be liable. The mayor assured her the City would not be liable as it was not their property. Jensen said he’d made a template for Lindeman to enact during such a situation and McCombie acknowledged that this procedure was in process.
Local Officials to the Rescue
Mayor Stebbins closed the meeting by noting the contributions of Senators Mike Jacobs and Dick Durbin to the City’s quest for a USDA grant. He said that in order to obtain this grant, the City needed documentation from the IEPA (Illinois Environmental Protection Agency) and due to various time and procedural entanglements, it did not yet have this letter very close to the deadline.
The senators, Stebbins said, “were on the ball and helping” and as a result, the City did receive it’s 2 million dollar grant from the USDA to help fund the wastewater treatment facility project.