Camanche approves solid waste contract

CAMANCHE — The Camanche City Council has officially approved a long-term contract with Republic Services to carry out the city's solid waste and recycling services.

The council approved a seven-year contract with a 3-1 vote Tuesday night to allow the national franchise to take care of all residential units, including home-run businesses in residentially zoned areas.

The contract calls for a rate of $15.33 per residential unit from May 1 to April 30, 2020. The rate increases to $19.40 from May 1, 2025 to April 30, 2026. The contract also includes a curbside city clean-up rate, as requested by the city, for $104 from May 1 to April 30, 2020. The approved rate for May 1, 2025 to April 30, 2026 is $132.

The long-term contract has raised some questions, specifically from council member Amber Metzger and most recently from former Camanche Mayor Jim Robertson, regarding the length of the agreement with Republic. Nevertheless, support has outweighed the questions.

"This has been an ongoing thing, and I hope this is the end of all that," Mayor Trevor Willis said Tuesday night. "In my opinion, Republic is our only option."

The city previously had used the services of River City Disposal LLC; however, issues with the company arose in mid-November 2018, Camanche City Council minutes show. According to City Council minutes from a Nov. 16 meeting, River City Disposal owner Jorge Poblete approached Camanche City Administrator Andrew Kida to inform him about an issue with his truck. The minutes state it was a serious situation, one that appeared to be unfixable. Poblete stated that he needed to back out of his contract with the city, which was to run through March 2021. Kida contacted the city attorney to create a document for Poblete to sign confirming he was terminating the contract.

Robertson spoke Tuesday night as well, saying, "Seven years seems like an extraordinarily long time" for a solid waste contract. Willis assured Robertson that due diligence had been done to ensure that Republic Services was the best option moving forward.

Republic manager Matt Pivit addressed the council earlier in the month, laying out official plans for the partnership if it were to be approved. The manager acknowledged that if the proposal was approved, Republic would provide carts for garbage and recycling. Pivit said garbage would be serviced curbside weekly, and recycling would be serviced curbside every other week. The carts will be either 65 gallons or 95 gallons. Pivit said that when Republic distributes the carts, they will include an informational packet that has a calendar for the rest of 2019 and a list of accepted materials.