The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 9, 2013

Council rejects large-item pickup

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — After weeks of discussion, a verdict has been made, and residents of Clinton will not see a large-item pickup this fall.

The Clinton Committee of the Whole met Tuesday to once again discuss the future of large-item pickup, and because of the lack of a secondary plan, the council decided to move the pickup to the spring to allow for more time and options for the city.

The decision did not come with opposition though, and several council members felt they were betraying a promise they made to citizens by postponing the pickup once again.

“We’ve got to offer it,” Councilwoman Jennifer Graf said. “We can’t just say no one responded so therefore we’re not going to have it. Folks have been hanging, waiting for us to do something since we eliminated spring’s with the promise that we would do one in the fall.”

The concern with time played a big role in Tuesday’s decision. The council felt that if they had prolonged the discussion any further, by the time city is able to complete the fall pickup, crews will be well into the winter months, bringing a whole new set of issues to the table.

“If we’re going to do this, we’re going to have to move fast on this because it’s October,” Councilwoman Bev Hermann said. “We couldn’t possibly get this through until the last meeting in October. That puts it in November and we have had snow and ice in November.”

Councilman Charlie Mulholland also added that the pickup itself requires several weeks to span the entire city, which would move it into December before being completed.

With heavy responsibilities already weighing down Clinton public works crews with winter snow removal preparation, the council had concerns that adding the large-item pickup would be too much to ask of their employees.

The suggestion to put out another set of requests for proposal (RFP) to local contractors, because the first RFP generated no interest, was once again brought up by the council, but time factored in to that discussion as well.

“I did receive a phone call from someone that was on that RFP list that said that they didn’t get it and they said that they would be interested issuing a bid if we were to reissue it,” City Administrator Jessica Kinser said. “But, then you get into the issue of we’re reissuing it and coming back to the next council meeting yet again.”

Reaching a standstill on how they could move forward with a fall pickup, Mulholland made a motion to move the pickup to the spring to give the council and the city the proper time to make a stronger, more effective plan.

Although some council members were reluctant, the vote passed five to one.

“I’ll go along with the spring but I hope we can get one going sooner,” Councilman John Rowland said.