The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

April 25, 2013

City may privatize waste services

Will design RFP to determine if vendor should be in charge

CLINTON — City officials plan to enlist the help of the firm that performed the solid waste study to find vendors willing to handle the city's garbage.  

During the City Services meeting Wednesday, committee members agreed to move forward a recommendation that the city extend the contract with Springsted to the tune of $17,000 in order to have the company draft a request for proposal (RFP) for solid waste, recycling, yard waste and large item disposal services.

Springsted would need to work with city staff to determine the full scope of services the city would like to offer as well as the legal requirements.  

Private haulers and the city could submit proposals for the contract. The Committee of the Whole will still need to discuss the contract extension and final approval would need to come from the City Council.  

In a memo to committee members, Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser said Sprinsted's help would be necessary because the detail required to develop the RFP is beyond the capabilities and knowledge of any staff members. Kinser also did not want there to be any perceived conflict of interest if the city puts together the RFP and the city's solid waste employees are submitting a proposal.  

Stand-in City Services Committee member Jennifer Graf asked how the city could move forward with a private hauler if that hauler wouldn't have exclusive rights to solid waste collection in the city. She also asked if the city could demand solid waste be delivered to the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency.   

City Attorney Jeff Farwell said those are legal questions that have yet to be answered.  

The committee also discussed soliciting citizen feedback on solid waste services through a customer survey. In order to have the survey done properly, the city would also hire Springsted for an extra $10,000 to $20,000.  

"If we privatize it, send it off to another company, we sell off our trucks, that's it. We're not buying the trucks back," Farwell said.  

Committee member Charlie Mulholland asserted that customers would be interested in one detail that is not yet clear: What the solid waste services will cost.  

"The person who sends it back, they're going to say 'what's it going to cost me?' That's what they're going to want to know," Mulholland said.  

Committee members decided not to move forward with a survey.  

When Springsted presented to the council in March, representatives stated a rate increase that would bring the monthly cost of solid waste services from $14.50 to $18.24 per month was critical to bring the solid waste fund to a positive cash balance.

Regardless of the city's decision to issue a request for proposal (RFP), rates will still need to be adjusted in order to fund the costs of providing the service, according to a memo from Kinser. The rate proposals will come before the Committee of the Whole on May 14.  

Kinser also submitted to the committee a revised rate increase schedule with increases coming in smaller increments over a long period of time. The report shows the cost of solid waste increasing from $5.25 to $6.22, recycling decreasing from $9.25 to $4.55 and a $2.26 fee for solid waste, 37 cent for large item fee and a $2.49 fee for the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency. These changes would bring the cost of services from $14.50 to $15.89 and bring the solid waste fund back to the black by 2019.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg What will happen in NFL draft? No one really knows

    Despite the hours spent interviewing coaches, watching film and developing well-reasoned mock draft lists, the truth about the 2014 NFL draft remains a mystery, well-guarded by teams that have nothing to gain by publicly sharing their innermost thoughts.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Iowa man accused of torturing, killing bald eagle

    An Iowa man has been charged with torturing and killing a bald eagle.

    A federal grand jury in Des Moines returned an indictment Wednesday against Jason John Thomas.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Northey Burkens committed to ag education CLINTON -- As the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey said his department doesn't hand out the Good Farm Neighbor Award arbitrarily. Only 10 acknowledgements are bestowed each year. On Wednesday, the honor went to a worthy family in Clinton C

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • World Book Night 1 Clinton Public Library hosts largest World Book Night event in the country

    CLINTON -- With more than 21 titles and 800 copies to give away, what reader wouldn't adore an event like World Book Night? Organizers at the Clinton Public Library wondered the same Wednesday, and were pleased with turnout for the third annual event

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amid Russian warning, Ukraine's in a security bind

    Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would mount a firm response if its citizens or interests come under attack in Ukraine. Although he did not specifically say Russia would launch a military attack, his comments bolstered wide concern that Russia could use any violence in eastern Ukraine as a pretext for sending in troops.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video