City to vote on totes v. bags Monday

By Thomas Nelson, tnelson@charlescitypress.com 

The city is one step closer to voting on the new Jendro Solid waste agreement that would change from bags to rolling garbage and recycling totes.

If passed, the implementation would take the next few months. Jendro would need to order totes and new trucks to accommodate the totes. The city would work toward gathering size needs for residents.

There is an option to use a larger or smaller recycling container, said Charles City Administrator Steven Diers.

The only time orange bags would be used would be if there was excess garbage that didn’t fit into the tote size the resident had chosen, Diers said.

Jendro can request a change in price once a year per the new agreement, but ultimately the decision ends with the council, Diers said. The contract would be for 10 years.

“It’s a pretty substantial investment for Jendros for equipment,” Diers said. “If we’re comfortable with this we’re looking at putting this on the agenda for the next council session.”

The council is due for a vote on the first reading of the contract on Oct. 16. The effective date for the contract to start would be April 1.

“We thought we could have a soft start in March,” Diers said. “The bins could be used as early as March.”

The solid waste ordinance will be changed due to the new contract after the contract is passed.

“We’ll pass a resolution in March that establishes those prices,” Diers said.

The city will continue without a contract until the new contract begins because the previous solid waste contract expired several years ago.

Jendros is also looking for a 70 cent increase to the base monthly rate of $6.45 prior to the beginning of the next solid waste contract in the months between.

Flood Insurance

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Floodplain Section performed a community assistance visit to assess the city’s floodplain management compliance in July.

During the visit, Charles City Mayor James Erb and Charles City Engineer John Fallis met with the FEMA and DNR representatives to discuss the findings of their visit.

There were 16 potential violations of flood plain management in Charles City.

“We were able to address all 16 violations successfully,” Fallis said.

Now Charles City’s floodplain management is in compliance with FEMA regulations, which means  the city can proceed with the enrollment phase of the CRS program and is eligible for lower premiums for flood insurance.

“The first step the city has is to send a letter into FEMA, a letter of interest,” Fallis said.

A CRS coordinator has to be named, and then a CRS specialist will be assigned to Charles City where we will be put into a class to get a premium reduction for flood insurance.

“Many of these items, we’re already doing,” Fallis said. “We’re in full compliance and that’s why we’ve been given a invitation to join.”

There is no possibility to raise the rates of flood insurance if the city joins.

“I think this is a great program I think we ought to chase and see where it takes us,” said Charles City Council Member Keith Starr.

Charles City Council Member Dan Mallaro called it a no-brainer.

Parking

On the east side on North Grand across the tracks that run along Main Street, there’s too little space on the street for vehicles to get through when a car is parked there.

The driveways have been getting crowded, and trucks can’t get through.

Fallis proposed the creation of a no-parking zone to eliminate one on-street parking space.

The no-parking zone would be on the east side of North Grand Avenue from the centerline of the Canadian National Railroad tracks to 75 feet north, according to City Council documents.

The Charles City Council will next meet Monday, Oct. 16, for a regular voting session.

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