Washington City Council approves several repairs and projects ahead of new year

The Washington City Council approved several repairs and projects ahead of the new year at their last regular meeting of the 2018 year.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Mayor Jaron Rosien gave the council an update on the garbage and recycling project he and City Administrator Brent Hinson have been working on.

Rosien explained that he and Hinson have spoken to and interviewed three of five potential vendors to look for alternatives to the recycling program. In June, the council was approached by Lynn Whaley, of WEMIGA Waste Inc., which operates the center, and were told pricing had risen due to the closing of the Chinese market for certain recyclables.

The pair have already met with WEMIGA, Luke’s and Waste Management out of Peoria, Illinois, and will interview the other two this week. The possible solution they are looking for would entail either a new recycling program completely, or simply hiring a new company to take care of the city’s recycling.

Hinson said they have not set up a time frame to begin accepting bids as of yet, because if an out-of-area provider, such as Waste Management, were to come in, they would need to purchase more equipment or hire more personnel, effectively needing more time on their contract to recoup the money invested.

No further action was taken and Hinson expects to return to the council with more information at the next meeting.

Out with the old and in with the new, the council then discussed the demolition of the Linda Lou property. Hinson said the demolition was delayed due to an asbestos abatement that is contracted to be completed by the end of December. He said demolition is to be completed and all materials removed by Feb. 15 and the developer will begin construction on the new building on March 1, 2019.

The council approved setting a public hearing for the demolition for Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Continuing to make the town more aesthetically pleasing was the theme of the night as the council also approved three bids for tree removal of 31 trees infected with Emerald ash borer disease. The trees have been split into three groups for treatment.

The bids were given to Trent Greiner Logging for $4,500 and Brown’s Tree Service for $5,700 and $5,150. The bids come out to equal around $495 per tree, down from the previous bids which estimated the cost to be around $560 a tree.

“The end is in sight for this problem,” said Rosien. “We’ve been on top of it.”

Hinson agreed saying that by June of 2019 all trees with the Emerald ash borer disease should be removed from city property. “That’s a huge success as far as getting this addressed,” he said.