EARLVILLE — A passionate minority trashed the concept of single, city-wide residential garbage service during the Earlville City Council meeting Monday night. Instead, the current system of individual contracts with one of several scavengers was extended for at least two more months.
Aldermen first started looking into a single service in order to save money for residents who currently pay as much as $45 a month for curbside pick-up, with the rates depending on those charged by the scavenger.
A committee meeting earlier this month had many residents demanding that they retain their right to choose regardless of the individual savings a single contract would offer. They also argued against billing garbage pickup on the city utility bill along with water and sewer since not all residents would use curbside service.
A survey was sent to 559 households along with water bills earlier this month; 212 came back against the service.
Nearly two dozen in attendance Monday night were stridently against the service, but as alderman Rose Stockley noted, not all of their neighbors shared their opinions. Many of them were among the 347 who either responded in favor of the proposal or didn’t return the survey since they knew it would be marked as an approval of the change.
Stockley then made the motion to implement a single city-wide residential service based on the survey results.
The motion never received a second.
Following the meeting, mayor Mike Hall was visibly upset. He declined to comment on the outcome. None of the other aldermen had any comments on the lack of a second.
After the lack of a second and a contentious public voice, Hall did take a few minutes to address those in attendance.
“This was brought up as a discussion for the citizens of Earlville to save money,” he said. “For whatever reason, it morphed into personal attacks on council members and me personally.
“It is wrong to think that your opinion is the only opinion that matters.”
He also encouraged those in attendance, and relatively new to city council meetings, to take an active role in city government in the future.
“The last time there was an election, most of our citizens chose not to participate at all either (not) voting (nor) taking out a petition,” he said.
Tamara Abbey can be reached at (815) 539-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.