By Charlie Feldman
The Troy City Council has approved a revised agreement with Republic Services eliminating the requirement that those who are not in the yard waste program pay for the service anyway.
“In the end, if you don’t want it, you don’t have to pay for it,” said Mayor Allen Adomite. “We’re taking the value that we’re getting by bringing that billing in-house and applying it to bring down the cost of yard waste service and make it more affordable so more people will utilize it so we have less burning within our community.”
The action took place after nearly 45 minutes of public comment at the council’s Monday, October 19 meeting. This was held in the basement of Tri-Township Public Library due to early voting at City Hall, as well as better seating capacity in the Community Room which allowed for social distancing.
The public comment and vote were moved to the beginning of the meeting and eventually ended in a recess, after which the rest of the business was taken care of.
At the October 5 meeting, the council voted for a six-year agreement with Republic Services that bundled the rates for trash, recycling and yard waste collection and made residential yard waste hauling mandatory in an effort to eliminate leaves after a ban on burning. Those who did not use Republic Services would have had to pay the hauling fee anyway.
After a number of complaints, not only about the fee but the leaf burning ban as well, a revised agreement was voted on after the public had the chance to weigh in on the issue at the next meeting. Seven signed up to address the board. Six spoke. They spoke at length against the leaf-burning ban. Its penalties. The definition of “yard waste” in the leaf-burning ordinance. Dumping leaves. Then came the vote about the renegotiated fee. It passed.
Not all were happy. “I don’t like the idea that we talked quite a bit about this already and we agreed on the bundling and now – I call ‘the minority rules’ which someone else brought that up – because people call and complain, the minority rules and changes the game plan,” said trustee Bonnie Levo. “I don’t like making rules and agreeing and then two weeks later you’re changing them.”
The price for subscription yard waste collection will now decrease from $13.49 to $10.49 per month with up to two 95-gallon carts available to any residents who subscribe to the service. Then after May 1, 2021 the subscription yard waste rate will decrease further to $8.49 per month. The minimum three-month commitment will still apply. The City will assume billing responsibilities for trash and recycle collection only on May 1, 2021. Republic Services will then invoice the city on a monthly basis based on a current house count the City will provide. At that time the rate for trash and recycle service will be $20.41 and $17.21 for seniors with a 3 percent annual increase.
“It’s gone up three percent a year for the past five years and it’ll continue just like it has,” Mayor Allen Adomite said.
In other action the board approved supporting an application for an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to extend the Madison County Transit district bike trail path from South Main Street to Creekside Drive and to build an extension to C.A. Henning Elementary School. If the application is successful, the grant would pay 80 percent of the costs and matching fees from the city would pay the additional 20 percent.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. at a location yet to be announced.