NORMAL – Normal Town Council members voted to approve a resolution moving forward a 20-year materials recovery and solid waste management plan along with the City of Bloomington and McLean County. The governing body’s decision seemed to agree with everyone, but one provision within the document led Council Member Scott Preston to cast a lone dissention leading to a 6-1 vote.

While the entire group appeared favorable toward the long-term plan, the issue which prompted Preston to oppose it was a set of clauses concerning recycling for multi-family housing, commercial operations, and recycling of construction and demolition materials recycling was included.

In each of those clauses, an ordinance mandating the communities and the county set certain recycling benchmarks if voluntary participation doesn’t help residents contribute in the program. That one item prompted Preston to disagree.

“I was not in favor of language that took a stance and advocated for ordinances by the Town as well as the City if certain benchmarks are not met,” Preston said afterward. Preston said had the mandated benchmarks come with an explanation of why they were being considered, Preston said he would still have voted down the resolution.

“I didn’t like the plan has a recommendation of mandating,” Preston added. “The rest of the plan is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people for the past two years. It’s an ambitious goal to be looking 20 years out.”

Preston said he commended Michael Brown, executive director of the Ecology Action Center among those who put the 26-page report together over the last couple of years. There are a lot of great things in the plan,” Preston added. “The recommended ordinances were the sticking point for me and that was why I couldn’t vote for this.”

Brown explained after the meeting that some small companies and renters do offer recycling but the percentage of companies that do that “isn’t as high as it could be. That means there’s a significant room for improvement.” He added rental companies told him that if they were mandated to provide recycling to help the community, to do so would “actually level the playing field” for those companies compared to complexes or companies who have recycling provided.

Wayne Aldrich, director of public works for the Town, said he has been contacting private companies which provide recycling services to apartments and multi-family dwelling operators.

City Manager Mark Peterson told Council members during the session the McLean County Landfill “is pretty much done. They are beginning a closure process. He added the plan “tries to move the needle on the Town’s recycling option.”

Council Member R. C. McBride told Brown and Aldrich during the meeting that establishing a 20-year plan “is a good thing.”

Jay Tummula Gets Human Rights Commission Appointment: Council members unanimously approved the appointment of Jay Tummula to the Town’s Human Rights Commission. Tummula is filling a vacancy left by the resignation of Mandava Rao, the result of Rao moving from the community. Tummula will serve a full four-year term which will expire March 31, 2022.

Tummula moved to the U. S. 17 years ago to take a job with IBM. From there, he joined State Farm as an analyst in the field of information technology, his current job. He is co-chair of the Minority and Police Partnership, and a volunteer with Ecology Action Center and Community Health Care Clinic. Tummula is married and has two children.

Omnibus Agenda Items Approved: Omnibus agenda items approved by the Council included:

• Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of Jan.16, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of Jan. 31, 2018

• A resolution authorizing the execution of an intergovernmental agreement with McLean County for centralized booking services.

• A resolution approving a lease amendment for the Heartland Theatre Company at the Community Activity Center.

• An ordinance abating the levy of 2017 property taxes for Special Service Area Number One.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 5th, 2018 at 10:54 pm and is filed under Normal Town Council, The Normalite. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.