Savanna City Council welcomes two members, says goodbye to one

SAVANNA – The Savanna City Council approved the resignation of one member and swore in two others at its Jan. 24 meeting at City Hall.

Ward Four Alderman Gary “Scott” Law submitted his official letter of resignation to the council, stating that after “careful consideration of (his) current priorities” he was regretfully asking the council to accept his resignation. The council did, and Law vacated his seat at the table.

Immediately thereafter, his replacement, Chris James, appointed by Mayor Peg Haffey, along with Haffey’s own replacement, James Friedenbach, were given the oath of office and sworn in by City Clerk Paul Hartman. Haffey’s seat in Ward One became vacant when she was sworn in as mayor after previous Mayor Tony McCombie was elected state representative from the 71st District.

Haffey appointed James to the Water/Sewer/Refuse/Streets and Alleys Committee and the Building/Public Property and Health & Safety Committee, and Friedenbach to the Contracts and Lease/Collective Bargaining Committee and the Hotel/Motel Committee.

Committee recommends no yard waste pickup

Water/Sewer/Refuse/Streets and Alleys Committee Chairman Bill Robinson reported possible alterations to the yardside waste pickup service for the city, in light of recent discussions with Moring Disposal. Various scenarios were discussed, Robinson said.

Robinson said that after long discussion, the committee recommended to not participate in any yard waste pickup program, due to lack of interest.

Recycling service was also discussed, with Moring proposing raising the monthly rate from $9.33 to $10.33, plus an annual increase of 3 percent. Moring also is requesting to hike the price of stickers for extra (beyond two) bags of trash per customer per week from $1 to $2, citing rising costs of things like dumping, fuel, equipment and insurance.

These changes were reasonable to the committee, Robinson said.

Alderman Jeff Griswold asked if there might be an option to provide the yard waste pickup service in the fall when people typically burn leaves and refuse. Robinson said this had never been offered as an option.

Transfer station future

Robinson reported that Public Works Superintendent John Lindeman is compiling a cost study for the city’s transfer station. “The transfer station is costing us a bundle,” he noted.  

The cost of disposing garbage would be going up from $39.90 per ton to $45.00 per ton, and it cost another $200 for truck hauling to the recycling points. The recycling cost would be going up as well, from $36.75 per ton to $40 per ton plus the $200 for trucking expenses. Lindeman said that for both recycling and garbage, the total station costs would be just about doubled. Robinson said these costs do not include labor. Lindeman said that the last study done at the station revealed that total costs were about $21,000 while the revenue was only about $11,000.

Robinson said that in light of these increased costs, the committee was looking at dropping the recycling service at the station, and keeping the garbage portion of the station’s service but possibly cutting that back some.  

When the committee has solid numbers, it will bring a proposal to the full council for its vote, the chairman said.

The city’s contract with Moring expires April 3.

“We don’t expect a big moneymaker, but we want it to pay for itself,” Robinson said.

In other action:

• The council approved a request from the city’s marketing consultant to pursue a $500 grant from Blackhawk Waterways for signage along the Great River Bike Trail.

• City Attorney Phil Jensen announced that in light of the city’s ongoing beautification project and the tearing down of 11 houses, he expects to have 11 judgements on Feb. 16 granting the city the lots on which the buildings stood.

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