By Alex Haglund
Street Department Commissioner Rich Schuette told the council that the city’s compost site had gotten its annual surprise visit from an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) inspector.
While the site received high marks on the inspection, Schuette said that this inspector did not like the idea of the gate being left open.
The city has been asked to close the gate, for the time being. The options for the site that Schuette has looked into would be to put a fence around the compost site itself, or to change the language of the city’s permit for the site with the IEPA (to allow for specified hours for the public or something of that nature).
“The third option, and I don’t think that it would be a very popular one, would be to close the compost site,” Schuette said, with both he and the council indicating that this was not an option they were seriously considering at this time. “It’s been a rough week with it closed.”
Schuette said that if the compost site were to be shut down, or harder to access, he would expect for that to lead to much more burning of refuse and yard waste in town. Police Chief Brian Fletcher stated that he might expect to see more of that waste just dumped into ditches or left at the side of the road as well.
“For the public, for now, the gate is close,” Schuette said. He added that if citizens have compostable waste to dispose of, they were welcome to stop by public works and if someone was available, they would help them.
In the longterm, Schuette and the council stated that they would be holding a meeting of the streets and alleys committee to discuss the issue and come up with an appropriate solution to satisfy all those involved.
On March 25, the Police Department’s 2009 Dodge Charger, currently the oldest vehicle in their possession, will be sold at auction, at the fairgrounds.
The street department received their concrete bids for 2017. Two bids were received, and the low bidder was Beelman Ready Mix. The cost for less than two cubic yards of concrete is $80.70 per cubic yard. For more than two cubic yards, the cost is $77.70 per cubic yard.
Schuette was authorized by the council to seek bids for a new zero-turn riding lawn mower, to replace the oldest one the department has, which he plans to trade in towards the new mower’s purchase.
“Typically, we get quotes from Diedrich Implements and Restoff’s,” Schuette told the council.
In February, 198 residents used the recycling program, bringing in 13,260 pounds, or 6.63 tons, of recyclables.
The city utilities department’s new truck has been taken possession of. It is currently being outfitted and having toolboxes installed on it.
Utilities Superintendent Blaine Middleton told the council that he was looking into a new city site through Rural Water which would assist the city in communicating with its utilities subscribers. No action was planned for this meeting, but Middleton said that he would be discussing it more with the council in the future.