The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 29, 2013

City discussing how to stop waste cart redelivery

Council votes 5-2 to stop allowing residents to discontinue service

By Katie Dahlstrom
Assistant Editor

CLINTON — Clinton residents won't be able to temporarily discontinue their solid waste services, members of the Clinton City Council decided Tuesday night.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, council members voted 5-2 to stop allowing residents to discontinue their service.  

A few dozen residents who use the city's solid waste service discontinue their service, triggering the city to collect their solid waste cart because they leave during the winter and don't want to pay the flat monthly fee for the service while they are gone.

City Attorney Jeff Farwell clarified the new rule would not apply to renters who move to a different address or to homeowners who have their homes on the market and later sell them.  

Other than completely disallowing the temporary discontinuation, council members also considered implementing a fee to redeliver the carts. At a City Services Committee last month, City Administrator Jessica Kinser told committee members the cost associated with redelivering the carts is $75, not including the overhead costs.  

At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf pointed out if the city wanted to recoup expenses for the redelivery, it would eclipse the customers' savings for the few months they choose not to have the service.   

"It basically is an essential public service and the cost associated with removing the can, bringing it back for short term is so exorbitant that folks would actually pay less by paying the monthly fee," Graf said.

At-large Councilman John Rowland and Ward 4 Councilman Paul Gassman voted against entirely eliminating temporary service discontinuation.

The item will move forward to the next City Council meeting for final approval.