NORMAL – A 4-3 vote by Normal Town Council members during the governing body’s remote meeting Monday night resulted in Council members approving a resolution for entering into an agreement with Midwest Fiber Recycling so the company can operate drop box recycling in town.

Normal’s decision to approve the resolution now hinges on whether Bloomington City Council and McLean County Board members will agree to join the three-year intergovernmental agreement Town Council approved with the Normal-based company. Mayor Chris Koos and council members Chemberly Cummings, Kevin McCarthy and Karyn Smith voted in favor of the resolution with Council Members Stan Nord, Scott Preston, and Kathleen Lorenz voting to oppose the measure.

When all three sides agree to the intergovernmental agreement, it would last for three years beginning Jan. 1 and running through Dec. 31, 2023. It would mean 7-day pick-up service at four sites in the Twin Cities, with site locations modified by agreement. There would be base processing fees charged by the ton and depending on material type, either paper, cardboard, or mixed containers.

Using drop boxes from 2013-2018, the Town collected recycling, delivering the materials to Midwest Fiber Recycling for processing, according to the report on the matter for the Council by Wayne Aldrich, Town Public Works Director.

In response to a question from Preston, City Manager Pam Reece said language in the agreement was being finalized by parties from each of the three sides. The contract presented to Council Monday, she said, was so Town residents could continue to take advantage of the service.

Council Member Kevin McCarthy explained he saw only positives in wanting to enter into the agreement with Bloomington and the county. First, the Town has a clause that will allow it to opt out of the agreement if there are issues which distress the Town; the Town now is not shouldering the cost alone once the City and County Board vote to approve the measure; and citizens’ desire to continue to use the drop boxes is still in demand. He added the fact that sharing the expense of the program with the City and County is “a win” for Normal.

Preston said he would prefer the Town continue the current agreement where the Midwest Fiber maintains charging the Town $7,500 monthly for the services rendered. He also said he would favor extending the Town’s current arrangement with the recycler.

Nord pointed out an ordinance passed by the Council in 2018 allowed for apartment dwellers to take advantage of recycling services provided by the Town. He then pivoted to the current action, saying, “All of our residents have the ability to recycle. If they have Town trash pick-up, they can recycle at the curb. If they live in an apartment, it’s mandated they have recycling there. That leads me to say this drop box service is not offering something that our constituents don’t already have.”

One resident who addressed Council members on this resolution during public comments urged its rejection. Karl Sila, a former write-in candidate for a Council seat in the general election held in April 2019, said the Council was “asking taxpayers to fund another ‘want,’ not ‘need,’ recycling. He went on to say information in the packet Council members received on the matter indicated over 70 percent of our recycling is not cost effective, and thus isn’t cost effective and uses resources.

“If the Council cares about Normal in these tough financial times, and cares about the environment as well, you should not rubber stamp this proposal spending more taxpayer money on something that sounds good, and you should do something that is good” Sila concluded, finishing by suggesting Town Staff should continue looking for a “more streamlined approach” to recycling considering the community’s present economic situation.

Koos Praises Town Staff Over Response To “Generational” Ice Storm: Town crews went into action to clear streets after the ice storm Koos described as “generational.” “The storm did do a lot of devastation in this community,” he added. “It’s a generational storm. It’s been a long time since I have seen damage like this. And I wanted to acknowledge Town Staff has been on it from day one. They were on the spot quick about getting ice off the streets so you could move about.

“I wanted to give kudos to Town Staff,” the Mayor added. “They always step up when they’re needed, and when they’re needed, they do exceptional work.”

This entry was posted on Monday, January 4th, 2021 at 10:50 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.

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