The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 25, 2013

Animal control, solid waste fees on agenda

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — Clinton City Council members will discuss animal impoundment services and increases to solid waste rates during their Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night.

Last week council members decided the direction of animal control services after a series of actions left the city without an animal control contract.

A request for proposal for the impoundment services will be before the council Tuesday. According to the RFP, the contractor chosen by the city will be responsible for animals delivered by the animal control officer. The contract will last for a period of five years. The city anticipates it will deliver approximately 10 dogs and 15 cats per month based on last year's numbers provided by the Clinton Police Department.  

The RFP calls for dogs to be kept for four days and cats to be kept for three days at the expense of the city. By law, the contractor would be required to keep the animals for seven days. After that period, the animals can either be euthanized or adopted.  

The timeline included in the RFP pegs April 9 as the date the contract will be awarded.  

City Council members will also discuss the results of a solid waste study performed by Minneapolis-based Springsted Inc.

Springsted was hired by the city to perform a financial analysis of solid waste services provided by the city in order to determine if the rates were appropriate.

The solid waste fund saw negative operating income from 2009 to 2012 with negative income expected this fiscal year. Further compounding the fund's troubles, capital expenditures in 2011 and 2012 depleted cash reserves. Cash reserves are projected to be negative $1.8 million by the end of fiscal year 2013.

According to Springsted's report to city officials, rates will need to increase in order for the solid waste services to be self-supporting and bring the solid waste fund to a positive cash balance by 2018.

During the final budget workshop last week, Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser proposed increasing the flat fee for recycling, yard waste, large item pickup and charges for the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency from $9.25 to $10.95  and increasing the solid waste fee from $5.25 to $7.45. Her proposals were based on the results of the Springsted study.  

Prior to the COW meeting, council members will direct Water Quality Superintendent Dan Riney to request, receive and review proposals for a laboratory at the wastewater treatment plant. The council will also vote on a letter of commitment between the city and Frantz-Hobart, the investment group that plans to purchase the Wilson building and transform it into 28 market-rate apartment units.  

The City Council will convene at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the COW meeting immediately following.