The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 28, 2013

Clinton leaders evaluating large-item pickup’s necessity

By Scott Levine
Associate Editor

CLINTON — Clinton City Council members will soon decide if the annual large item pickup is necessary for residents.

The City Services Committee on Wednesday forwarded a measure to the next Committee of the Whole meeting that would eliminate large item pickup this year.

At-Large Councilman Charlie Mulholland and Streets, Solid Waste and Grounds Superintendent Tom Krogman suggested to scrap the program that was dwindled down from two days to one during 2012.

Last year, Mulholland said 2012 could be the last year for the program if residents didn't abide by the rules.

“I would just as soon not do it,” Mulholland said.

Krogman indicated there would be opposition, but he saw too many residents put out items last year that would fit in a regular trash bin, like clothes, shoes and more.

The original idea for the service was to provide residents an opportunity to put out couches and larger items, Krogman said.

In 2012, the program ran in August, which resulted in bad timing due to a large storm, creating problems for city staff that had to clean up from the storm and pick up large items from citizens.

Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser said this program also would depend on the future of solid waste services offered by the city of Clinton.

The Clinton City Council on Tuesday forwarded a proposal to the City Services Committee that would look into whether the city would remain in the solid waste business.

Large item pickup is a service provided by the city of Clinton that allows residents to place items too large to fit in the trash bins on the curb for a two-week period.

Flood gates

Several options are still on the table for developing protocol for the flood gates at Ninth Avenue North and Joyce's Slough.

City Engineer Jason Craft said the city could either use $60,000 to purchase a new crane or use $40,000 to develop a road to haul the crane, and hire an outside company to bring a crane to close the gates.

The company would cost the city about $2,000 per usage, which could be zero or multiple times a season.

By not buying a new crane, city staff would not be trained and wouldn't be required to shift duties to operate the crane, but the wear and tear on roads from a vehicle carrying a crane concerned members of the committee.

The committee did not recommend a measure, and by the end of the discussion, proposed two more options — fixing the road and buying a new crane, or fixing the current crane and contracting out the services of running the crane to a local operator.

Those options and possibly more regarding the flood gates will be discussed at the next Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.