West Point to consider bidding trash service

Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren talks with the West Point City Council on Monday night about transitioning county emergency responder radios to a digital format. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Clarification: The Keokuk trash hauling company listed as Kohlmeyer has been corrected to reflect the correct name of Kohlmorgan Hauling of Keokuk. Pen City Current apologizes for the error.

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

WEST POINT – A short notice from one of several trash providers in West Point has city officials considering getting into the trash business.

At Monday’s regular meeting of the West Point City Council, Mayor Paul Walker brought up the issue during a public comment section, rather than typically having the item listed on the discussion items.

Walker said Rick Fraise, who had served about 150 residents in the city, gave notice that he would be retiring at the end of the month. Fraise was charging about $19 a month for the service.

Dennis LaVeine of LaVeine Sanitation in West Burlington was present at the meeting with staff in tow, to pitch the city for bidding to provide service to the entire city.

“If you contract with us to serve the whole city you’re gonna get a better price than they are paying now if you don’t include recycling,” LaVeine told the council.

“You also have some in town who don’t have any service and that’s kind of a mess. This way everyone will get service and you control the billing.”

LaVeine’s service would include an automated truck carrying one employee. The trucks would pick up containers provided by LaVeine, but would carry a one time purchase price. LaVeine said he had 65 gallon and 90 gallon rolling carts that would carry the same price.

Councilman Will Stuekerjuergen said he would favor a plan where his trash bill was combined with his water and sewer bill.

Walker said that was the point of the discussion to determine if the city wanted to get into the trash business or continue with the status quo.

Currently residents contract with trash providers privately and in addition to Fraise, Floyds, and Kohlmorgan Hauling out of Keokuk have service in West Point.

Walker informally polled the councilman who all agreed to take a deeper look at possibly bidding the city’s trash service out. With Fraise’s service ending, residents who currently have trash service with him, would have to look to other providers while the city gets more input on the citywide service.

In an unrelated issue, the council heard from Fort Madison Fire Chief Joey Herren, who’s representing a committee looking into transitioning county emergency responder radios to a digital format from the current analog service.

Herren has been making the rounds speaking to municipalities about the transition. The transition could cost county residents more than $7 million when all is said and done.

The money would be collected through a countywide levy that Herren said has been preliminarily estimated at .20 to .30/$1,000 of assessed valuation for 10 years. However, he said funds on hand could offset some of those costs. Funds from the county’s E911 board could be also be used to help reduce additional costs to taxpayers.

Herren was there looking for a letter of support from the city, that would be used when he pitched the transition to the Lee County Board of Supervisors on the 17th.

Currently radio communications are sketchy around the county, highlighted by the recent shooting in a Fort Madison warehouse, where communication was limited by being inside the building. At some points, Herren said police just heard clicks from the radio but no chatter.

Herren said he also feared poor communication when firefighters were inside buildings and don’t answer radio contact.

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