Going Up: Council Considers Santitation Rate Increase

By Crystal Howerton

Not only can Edina residents expect their sanitation rates to increase next month, the price for additional trash stickers has been raised as well; changes effective November 1, 2007.
The Board of Alderman met in regular session on Monday evening, October 8 to review the recommendations made by City Treasurer Peggy Collinge regarding an increase in sanitation rates.  Collinge projected an increase of 25%, which would mean paying an additional $2.75 for residents and $4.50 for businesses, bringing the rates to $13.25 for residents and $22.00 for commercial users.  For the City, this would mean a minimum of $1,851.50 in additional monthly revenue.  From January through September the City’s expenses have exceeded revenues by more than $10,000.  "With several factors including the rise in fuel costs, landfill prices, salaries and health insurance contributing, it is necessary for the City to make these changes to offset costs," said Collinge.
Council members discussed making a 30% increase, but rejected it in favor of reevaluating the rates yearly.  Alderman Donnie Davis suggested that with the ever-increasing costs it would make better sense to make the 25% increase now and reassess the rates on a yearly basis.  "We don’t know what we’re going to have to do next year, or the year after."  It was the consensus of the Board to include the 25% increase in the proposed ordinance, which will be voted upon at the special meeting tentatively scheduled for Monday evening, October 22.
A discussion was also held regarding the price of additional trash stickers.  Currently, eight stickers are supplied with your payment and additional trash stickers may be purchased at $1.00/sticker.  The Board agreed to increase the fee for stickers to $2.00/sticker to coincide with the rates increase.  The Board plans to make the sanitation rates and trash stickers increase effective November 1.
Knox County Chamber of Commerce member Gary Parish updated the Board on plans for the community building.  "We will be scheduling a meeting to select board members, as well as
 See Council, Page 10
making plans to tour the Memphis facility.  Mayor Strickler commented, "I expect the information provided during the tour will be as much, if not more beneficial than the tour itself."
Departmental Reports were heard from Edina Police Chief Roger Waibel, Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel and Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt.  Chief Waibel reported positive feedback on the recent ordinances covering ATV’s, golf carts, etc.  "We received several responses from the letters that were mailed out," he said.
 He informed Council members that City employees are planning some fall cleanup around town.  Properties of concern led to a lengthy discussion in which it was decided that Chief Waibel would contact a building inspector to inspect neglected structures and possibly have those buildings condemned.
Gibson reported on plans for Halloween including the annual Halloween party at the Knights of Columbus hall.  She said the Ministerial Alliance would be in charge of the games again this year.  The Knox County Chamber of Commerce will also be hosting a "Safe-Stop" from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday evening, October 31.  Chief Waibel’s request for additional officers on Halloween evening was granted.
Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel reported a bid for a new mower from The Farm Shop, Edina.  The new eXmark Lazer Z is a 25 hp Kabota Diesel with a 66-inch deck.  Council members voted to purchase the new mower at the bid price of $10,600.  The current mower will be turned over to the streets and utilities departments to replace a mower that is no longer efficient.
Eitel said that he had replaced the starter on the #2 pump and a broken wire on the South Clarifier.  He also hauled 16 loads of sludge, emptying the middle tank.
Eitel, Supt. of Utilities Wriedt, Gibson, Mayor Strickler, and Alderman Gordon Edwards met with Scott Adams with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on September 25 for the Municipal Sanitary Overflow Compliance survey at City Hall.  Eitel said that following the meeting, Adams conducted a final inspection of the UV Disinfection and a facility walk through.  According to Eitel the permit is on its way, however additional testing will now be required.
He returned a bid for fencing at the wastewater treatment plant from Garlock Custom Fencing, Jim Garlock, however Council members felt the bid was excessive and Eitel offered to seek additional bids.
Supt. of Utilieties Wriedt reported on street maintenance, stating that 26 Edina block have been chipped and sealed with the gravel roads having been done twice.  In addition, the North Street Water Line project is one-third of the way completed.
He asked the Council to consider construction of a new shed to house City equipment.  Council members admitted that this had been discussed in the past and directed Wriedt to obtain bids for a new shed.
 Lastly, Council members considered passing an ordinance approving a settlement agreement with Verizon Wireless (and assigning a percentage of the settlement proceeds to the St. Louis County or Missouri Municipal League.