EARLVILLE — “We deserve your vote,” said Becky Keller, one of the many residents in attendance at the Earlville City Council meeting Tuesday night.
She finally got that vote on city-wide residential trash service that had been discussed by aldermen for the last few months.
The tied vote was broken by mayor Mike Hall who had expressed the same sentiment last month after the council failed to take action on the motion when there was no second. He, along with aldermen Chuck Jenkins, Robin Sessler and Rose Stockley all voted to move forward with a single service citywide. Aldermen Kristin Sweeney, Brock Harp and Don Sawicki voted against the measure.
Stockley said the finance committee will most likely meet soon with the city attorney to discuss moving forward with awarding a bid.
Awarding the bid will be the next step in a process that Jerry Jones said should have been done earlier this year.
“You wasted $300 on a survey,” he said. “I’ve heard that people were threatened - take the vote. Just do it.
“This is nuts — all these meetings about garbage — it’s just garbage!”
Tina Pocius with Lee Lewis Disposal, one of four waste haulers currently operating in the city, questioned the council’s bid process and whether all bidders were told of possible changes in the bid specifications that were issued earlier this year. Her company had bid on providing service to all residential customers. Recently aldermen were discussing changing that to exempt personal residences of business owners who already had a dumpster available.
Her comments were made during a public voice section of the agenda that lasted nearly an hour. The comments by the public were temporarily halted after Mike Komsoer questioned the legality of the meeting due to the way the public notice was posted and witnessed.
Hall and city attorney Mark Anderson met for a few minutes privately before determining it was legal for the deputy clerk to witness the agenda and posting.
The mood from the crowd, later estimated at 80 in the council chambers and spilling out into the hallway, was disgruntled following the vote. Several of those speaking Tuesday night had spoken before. Most of them demanded the right to continue choosing their own garbage company and signing individual contracts or continuing to take their garbage elsewhere.
Several people spoke in support of a single service which would save residents up to $20 a month or more over current contracts.
“I’m with you guys,” Nico Riba told the aldermen. “I believe there should be a cleaner environment and save money.”
The bid will include curbside recycling along with trash pick-up.
Tamara Abbey can be reached at (815) 539-5200 or email@example.com.