Watseka residents will be seeing an increase in garbage bills.

The Watseka City Council Tuesday night approved an increase to $13.45 a month, which garbage hauler Allied Waste said was needed.

Mayor John Allhands said the hauler’s representatives noted that there has not been a increase in five years even though costs had risen.

The council approved a five-year contract which will also see a three percent increase each year. The new rates will include two garbage cans, he said.

in another action Tuesday night, the council approved ordinance 2593, which rezones the property at 1223 Sugar Creek Court in Watseka from RMH mobile home park district to B1 neighborhood business district.

Allhands said owners of the storage facility there are wanting to expand.

In another ordinance move, the council approved ordinance 2594, which says that the city will not raise the levy this year. This includes the general corporate levy. Ordinance 2595, which was also approved, says that the levy for the library will also not be raised this year.

The council approved increasing a line of credit at First Trust and Savings Bank from $500,000 to $1 million, for the Department of Natural Resources grant. That grant allows the city to purchase homes that have been approved as substantially damaged because of flooding to be purchased and demolished. The program, which has been going on for about a year now, includes the city purchasing the properties and then being reimbursed by the DNR grant.

Allhands noted that in the past the city has had to wait on reimbursement funds before being able to continue on with the next set of homes being purchased and demolished.

Allhands said there are still a lot of people who are waiting on the grant program to have their homes purchased. He said that the city at first was waiting about six weeks for reimbursement from the state but because of COVID-19 and other delays, the wait has been as much as nine or 10 weeks.

The added line of credit at the bank will allow the city to keep moving forward on the purchases without being tied down waiting on the state.

Along with that approval, the council also approved a Lee Farms aggregate bid of $48,750 for demolition of DNR list homes at 506 E. Grant, 200 E. Sheridan, 448, 438 and 436 North Third and 305 N. Kay.

Other financial matters approved include a bid from A Plus Home Improvements for fending at the impound lot in the about of $29,231.80 and $16,800 to Becker Tree Service to grind stumps, logs and branches at the yardwaste facility.

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