NORMAL – Thanks to a 4-2 decision by Normal Town Council on an ordinance to be added to the Town Code, the Town will require occupants of multi-family dwellings to collect recyclable materials. The proposed implementation date is Aug. 1, 2019. But while its passage made going into effect cut and dried, there were concerns raised by Council members and some residents about the measure. Council Members Jeff Fritzen and Kathleen Lorenz cast opposing votes. Council Member Scott Preston was absent from the meeting.

The ordinance pertains to mobile home parks and all multi-family dwellings in the Town which currently don’t qualify for recycling collection from the Town’s public works department.

Seven citizens, both permanent residents of the Town and students of Illinois State University who live off-campus, spoke to Council members about the ordinance before Council members discussed and then voted on the measure.

Katy Haag, vice chair of the Student Sustainability Committee at ISU, told Council members she currently lives at an apartment complex that does not offer recycling and added, “I urge the Council to pass the ordinance to require the collection of recyclable materials. As contributing members of this community, students and others living in multi-family homes deserve the same easily accessible opportunities to recycling as do those living in single family homes.”

“As we all know, recycling is necessary, but the ordinance is flawed,” Normal resident and property owner Steve Snyder told Council members in explaining his opposition to it. The Snyder Companies, which Snyder is president of, owns a half-dozen large dwellings in the community. “This one size fits all ordinance does not work with all multi-family properties.” He said each property needs to discover how the recycling will work best individually rather than a Town-mandated policy to be followed by all property owners.

With two partners, Snyder owns 454-unit Ironwood Gardens Apartments where, Snyder said, if the ordinance was to go into effect as is, putting in the recycling container would cause that property to lose one, possibly two parking spaces to accommodate it.

Council Member Kathleen Lorenz stated she wanted the Council to consider tabling voting on the matter until all landlords had been heard from. She said she had heard from a group of landlords who say they hadn’t been contacted but wished they had been. That measure failed by a 4-2 vote, with Mayor Chris Koos, and Council Members Kevin McCarthy, Chemberly Cummings, and R. C. McBride carrying the majority.

In wanting further research on the matter, Lorenz explained after the meeting that the ordinance “did not fully incorporate, from what I heard from property owners, their input. That concerned me that that, perhaps, compromised the final version of the ordinance. I believe there could have been a better version of this ordinance had we postponed and allowed property owners to come back to the table.”

The ordinance requires property owners to contract with private collectors for recycling services, and private collectors are required to take the material to a qualified processor. In addition, collectors will file an annual report with Michael Brown, executive director of Ecology Action Center who serves as the person responsible for overseeing solid waste collection in the county.

A $100 per day fine will serve as the penalty for violating this code. At the end of March, the Town cut in half the number of drop box collection recycling centers available to Town residents, from eight to four. To gain insight regarding multifamily recycling programs, Town Staff held conversations with officials from three other University communities – Champaign, Urbana, and Iowa City, Iowa, according to a report prepared for Council members by Wayne Aldrich, director of public works.

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

• Approval of the minutes of the regular Council meeting of June 18, 2018.

• Approval of Town of Normal expenditures for payment as of June 27, 2018.

• A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement for technical planning services with the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.

• A resolution accepting bids and award a contract to Bloomington-based Rowe Construction Co., a division of United Contractors Midwest, Inc., in the amount of $1,853,275.84 for the 2017-18 general street resurfacing project, and to authorize a budget adjustment of $21,746.84.

• An ordinance modifying Section 17.3-4 of the Town of Normal Municipal Code – smoking regulatory act for Town-owned facilities prohibiting smoking within a distance of 25 feet of entries, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018 at 10:24 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.