After two successful Saturday bulk garbage pick-up events, Republic Services and the Hoopeston City Council are pleased with a new arrangement for bulk garbage pick-in the city.
The city ran into several issues earlier this summer when it decided to discontinue bulk garbage pick-up at individual homes in its new agreement with Republic Services in favor of setting up a bulk garbage pick-up site on the edge of the city limits.
The arrangement proved too difficult to manage as the site was constantly needing to be cleared out and illegal items were being dropped off. Area residents who lived near the site also expressed concerns over children playing near the site and the amount of garbage serving as a lure for pests and animals.
Eventually, the city decided to close the site and approach bulk garbage pick-up in a different way by setting up twice-monthly bulk garbage pick-ups at city hall.
Alderman Bill Goodwine, who served as mayor pro temp during the meeting, said the new set-up has prevented any prohibited items from being dropped off and has allowed the city and Republic Services to have a good handle on the situation.
Thus far, Goodwine said, only two people have been turned away: one for having garbage that could fit in their own garbage tote and another for not having a driver’s license to prove they live in Hoopeston.
One of the most prevalent items brought to the bulk garbage drop off events thus far, Goodwine said, are mattresses, joking that Hoopeston must be about out of mattresses based on the number that have been dropped off.
Goodwine estimated that the turn out for the drop off went up about 50 percent from the first to the second event, but said it is too early to tell what the city’s eventual needs will be in terms of containers for the drop off events.
Republic Services has given the council a few months to try out this new method of bulk garbage collection before a new agreement needs to be finalized.
Goodwine said the situation needs to be discussed further in committee before the details of a new arrangement are worked out, but did outline a few ideas.
He said the number of containers the city needs will likely change dependent on the season, pointing out that there will be more need for pick-up in the summer than there will be in the winter.
Goodwine also asked Republic Services representatives present at the meeting if the city could reserve the right to return to curbside pick-up if they find it necessary in the future.
Republic Services Senior Area Management Susan Piazza said the city could choose to return to curbside pick-up as long as they gave Republic 60 days notice to ensure that the routes could be adjusted and additional personnel hired as necessary.
Goodwine said he planned to hold a finance committee meeting soon to discuss the matter further.
In an unrelated discussion, Alderman Carl Ankenbrand reported that Hoopeston Police Officer Marvin Dobkins had been recognized by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) recently.
AAIM’s mission is to prevent deaths and injuries caused by chemically impaired or distracted operators of any motor vehicle or watercraft and to assist victims of these crashes in Illinois.
Ankenbrand also asked the council to approve two new Hoopeston Auxiliary Police officers. Brant Ramos, of Hoopeston, and Corwin Allen, of Milford, were both unanimously approved by the council.
Ankenbrand also informed the council that a new dispatcher, Amanda Thorn, had been hired. Thorn, a former Hoopeston Area Cornjerker, previously served as a judicial clerk for the Vermilion County Courthouse.
In other business, the council approved a bid from Diaz Construction to address ground joist holes and install steel siding on the shared walls at 203 and 207 E. Main St. These walls were exposed when 205 E. Main St. was torn down.
Goodwine said the city will pay $12,000 for the joist holes to be filled and $15,200 for the siding. The building owners will share the cost with the city.
Goodwine in currently seeking a contractor to fix the rubber roof at 207 E. Main St., which was left exposed and damaged by wind after 205 E. Main St. was demolished.
In other business:
- Alderman Alex Houmes reported that the city had received a grant from Keep Vermilion County Beautiful for park landscaping. Houmes thanked Marta Pierce for writing and submitting the grant.
- Houmes also reported that an asbestos inspection had been completed at the Canon property on North Market Street and the city will now wait 10 days before demolition will commence. He said the demolition is set for Aug. 16.
- Alderman Chad Yaden reported that bids are still be accepted for a dump bed and snow plow for the cemetery department’s new truck. Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. Aug. 16.
- Alderwoman Lourdine Florek reported that an inspection by the Illinois EPA found no violations at the city’s wastewater treatment facility and expressed her appreciation to ERH Enterprises, which manages the facility, for their efforts.
- Florek also commented on a pavement issue at Young and Market, stating that the issue was not caused by a defective sewer line, but by an old box culvert that had decayed.
- Florek also addressed the Sixth Street sewer lining project, informing the council that a section of the line had failed and had to be replaced. Hoerr Construction is covering the cost of investigating why that section of lining failed, Florek said, since it happens so rarely.