By: Diane Benjamin
The reason I love these remote meetings is it’s easy to catch your elected officials proving they don’t care:
This is Kathleen Lorenz – 55:42. The others have similar moments we would never see at a regular Council meeting. Stan had pulled a water project that was going to be over $400,000 under budget. He wondered why the Town is raising water rates to collect around $100,000 more. Instead of cancelling the increase, Reece wants to look at other projects upcoming and get back to Council.
Stan next pulled the recycling ordinance. This item is being added to the budget at a time when revenues are dropping. He called this convenience, not a necessity. The previous agreement passed by Council said it would end in two years. Since the Council isn’t pushing a new agreement, why is staff going against the decisions of a previous Council?
The Town of Normal claimed the current Town owned recycle boxes have no value. Stan claimed the resale value of the containers is 75% of the original cost. Normal gave them away to Midwest Fiber instead of complying with the Town code for disposal of assets.
1:08:40: Lorenz questions Reece about the disposal of the containers and a truck the Town also gave them. Town lawyer, Brian Day, said it isn’t disposition it is paying the vendors with property instead of cash. Sunset clauses don’t matter if staff says it doesn’t matter. Reece claims they can call this a new agreement instead of an extension.
Stan is alleging this is just another agreement where “friends” profit because the value of the containers and truck given to Midwest Fiber is not reflected in the total cost. This will be back before the Council in 6 months.
The Town justified this expense because recycling reduces the costs they pay dragging trash to a landfill and dumping it. Stan claimed the value of the free containers amounts to $61,875 which is 75% of the original purchase price. The trade-in value of the free truck was estimated at $50,000 in 2018. The addition to the budget approved last night is $45,000 for 6 months.
Just to be clear, this extension violates the language in the agreement passed by a previous Council on March 5, 2018:
PDF page 47:
“At the end of the two-year period, it will be solely up to Midwest Fiber whether the drop-box recycling program in the community continues or not. ”
This was ignored by everyone but Stan Nord. Remember this the next time Koos claims the actions of previous councils can not be undone.