By Charlie Feldman
Troy will celebrate Halloween this year, pandemic or no pandemic. But the fall tradition of burning leaves has been canceled – permanently.
These were among the new developments at the Monday, October 5 City Council meeting.
“People still ask me, ‘Is Halloween still on?’” said Mayor Allen Adomite.
“I’m not seeing anything that would lead me to believe that we can’t do Halloween,” he said, referring to the new guidelines released by the Illinois Department of Public Health. He suggested the public follow these and that there would be a police presence. “All the time making sure people are safely walking from place to place,” he added. “Interacting with people with their masks on, And hopefully everybody else will have their masks on too.”
The guidelines have already been posted on several Facebook sites.
Burning leaves, grass clippings, landscape and yard waste –even in fire pits – has been banned by the council.
Anyone violating this between November 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021 will be fined $75. After May 1, 2021, they must pay $500. Proceeds from fines and penalties will be used annually to reduce the fee for residential yard waste hauling, which will have become mandatory due to a new agreement with Republic Services that was approved at the meeting.
It’s a citywide service that residents have to pay for even if they don’t use it. One 95-gallon yard waste cart will be provided to each subscribing household. Residents may request a second at no additional charge.
The new bundled rate for trash, recyclable materials and yard waste will be $21.95 per household per month with a discount rate of $18.66 for senior residents. Rates will be increased by 4 percent on May 1 each year. Bills will be sent out by the city as part of the water bill beginning in May.
A letter and informational mailing from the Homefield Energy municipal aggregation program informing residents that the city has chosen their program and that they could opt out by Friday, October 30 was mentioned by the mayor.
“They’re required to send that letter out,” Adomite said. “Everyone’s opted in unless they formally opt out by filling that [form] out or they subscribe with a different company. They probably get a lot of deals in the mail.”
The Public Works Department has issued a request for qualifications from consulting engineers for the Troy O’Fallon Road Turn Lane Project and is accepting bids for a Class 5 Chassis Cab with a dump bed and a new hydraulic salt spreader.
The council also approved a collective bargaining agreement with the police union. A clause about premium compensation being awarded to officers who have to work on Sunday when it is not part of their usual schedule was stricken. Those involving maternity leave and overtime were added.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Troy Municipal Building.