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VG city council discusses the town’s waste options

The Villa Grove city council met on Monday, April 12 for their regular meeting.

Mayor Eversole Gunter called the role, and found all aldermen, plus city administrator Athey, Clerk Osborn, Public works director Lake and Chief of Police Rea in attendance.

The first item on the agenda was approval of the consent agenda, which included:
* Minutes of the last regular city council meeting, held March 22, 2021.

* Minutes of the last closed session of the city council meeting, held March 22, 2021.

* Authorized the payment of bills in the amount of $226,4621.69.

* Approved the cash balance report for the month ending March 31, 2021.

* Approved the purchasing of a fire truck lightbar.

* Approved the repair of the fire department antenna. 

Next, Mayor Eversole Gunter asked for public comments, and at this time, representatives from Advanced Disposal took the floor to discuss service issues, city cleanup and other issues. They recognized the fact that their service had been sub-par for the past several months, but they indicated that their staff had turned over significantly after their purchase by Waste Management. They also indicated that they had now staffed the route with some of their Decatur employees, and that service should begin to improve immediately.

They also introduced the idea of curbside pickup for Villa Grove’s annual cleanup day, rather than a centralized drop off location. They introduced the idea of having eight trucks in Villa Grove on the day of the cleanup, each staffed with two employees, and that they would go street by street, starting at approximately 6 am on the date selected. This would mean that all items citizens wished to dispose of would have to be placed on the curb the night before, but it would eliminate long lines at the dump site down town, eliminate the need for the city to pay staff overtime, and would also hopefully encourage more residents to participate.  The Waste Management representatives then noted that they have the same arrangement with a number of area towns, including Sullivan, Decatur and Forsyth, and that those cities are satisfied with the arrangement.  The company then submitted their proposal for graduated rate increases over the next several years, including a four percent increase in cost, and asked for the city to begin the process of extending their contract, which the council chose not to do at this time. 

Administrator Athey then made her report in which she mentioned that the RFP for the sale of the water plant had additional info which she had provided. She also noted that the city had received the strategic plan that all parties had been working on with Northern Illinois University. Athey then discussed options for the donor wall project at the community building, noting that there were several options, including etched aluminum that could be explored. Finally, she noted that the paperwork for the loan for the McCoy project, the tear down of the old water plant and the installation of the new scrubber at the new water plant had just been received, and that those projects could now begin. 

Next, Randy Lake made a short report about public works, noting that his crew had recently torn down the abandoned Douglas street property, and that they had removed the old fencing that surrounds the demo derby site, which was in a state of disrepair. 

He also noted that all of the appliances in the Henson park concession stand would need to be replaced, mold would have to be removed and repairs to the facility would have to be made before it could re-open.  Finally, he asked about the possibility of putting locks on the restroom doors at Henson Park. 

Chief Rea then reported that his officers and squads were now fully equipped with body cameras, as mandated by the state, and that he and the officers would continue to monitor compliance with city property ordinances. 

Next, Mayor Eversole Gunter moved on to new business, which included:
* Approval for a claim against the city

* Potential leasing of concessions for summer recreation. It was decided that the concession stands would not be open for 2021, but that the city would be seeking someone to lease them for 2022. Possible alternatives such as food trucks, local restaurant 

Finding no further business, the council adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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