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Garbage truck bid approval eludes Armstrong council

February 18, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

ARMSTRONG?- With just three out of five council members present, the Armstrong City Council failed to get the needed votes to accept a quote for a garbage bid and containers at its meeting Monday.

Elliot Equipment had submitted a bid of $170,266.96, just under a Mid-Iowa Equipment bid of $170,422.75. The bid included a truck and variety of containers including 35 gallons, 95 gallons, one and a half yards, three yards, four yards and six yards.

However, with Adrian Hagebock and Warren Haeckel both gone from Monday's meeting, it was left to council members Dave Grussing, Don Leach and Jon Larsen to decide whether to accept the bid.

Matt Riesberg, sales representative from Elliott Equipment, said the 2014 Freightliner chassis was available from Sioux City. "We have no problem if you can get a better price on a chassis," Riesberg said, if the city wanted to try to cut the price even further.

Mayor Marv Dailey said he had emailed specs to Mid-Iowa Equipment so both bidders were working from the same specs.

Grussing moved that the council accept the Elliott bid, and he and Leach voted approval while Larsen voted against.

"Economy of scale," was the reason Larsen offered for voting against approval. "I don't know how you're going to make any money with this," he said, asking how long of a payoff period it would take to pay off the truck.

City clerk Connie Thackery and Dailey said that would be 10 years.

"We know we need some help and we can't find part-time help," Dailey said, noting one of the reasons the city wants to get into the garbage business rather than continue with Waste Management. "This would pay at least half of someone's wages. Everything on that (bid) sheet, we've figured high."

When Larsen asked if prices to the consumer would go up or down, Dailey said they wouldn't change. Thackery said Waste Management had the right to change rates every year based on the Consumer Price Index. Leach noted that Waste Management could raise rates at mid-term with a fuel surcharge.

Grussing said Waste Management had raised rates three times since he came on the council and the city had raised them once.

"I think we have better control over expenses this way than we do with Waste Management," he said.

Leach noted that the council could put the bid acceptance up for a vote again on its agenda in another two weeks.

The council also discussed the 2013-14 budget which will have a 10.74892 mil levy, up slightly from last year's 10.5028. The budget calls for $1,076,810 in revenues, with $254,240 coming from property taxes, and $1,102,483 in expenses.

Thackery said the last payment for the curb and gutter project will be done June 30 while the city pool has another 12 years until payoff. She said there are two years to go on northside sewer improvements and that revenue bonds could be rolled over into the lagoon project.

Thackery said the water, sewer and garbage rates that the council had amended would take effect April 1, making just a month shy of 10 years since the last rate increase. She said revenues should cover expenses over the next year and that the Iowa Legislature may redo options for the local option sales tax.

The council approved publishing the budget as presented.

Also approved was a $200 allocation to both Compass Pointe and Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

In other matters, Grussing suggested that the city attorney be contacted to determine options for collecting past-due payments on the revolving loan fund.

Thackery said chlorine was being put in the city water supply on Friday after the Iowa Department of Natural Resources had placed the city on the boil order. She said water samples had been sent to the lab and that the city should have known by 8 a.m. this Tuesday if the order could be lifted.



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