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Armstrong Council OKs garbage truck purchase

April 17, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

ARMSTRONG?- By a 3-2 vote, the Armstrong City Council in special session Wednesday night approved purchase of a garbage truck and containers at a total cost of $172,922.

The bid by Elliott Equipment of Des Moines includes $138,734 for the truck and another $34,188 for the containers. Voting in favor of the purchase were council members Adrian Hagebock, Dave Grussing and Don Leach while Warren Haeckel and Jon Larsen were opposed, both questioning whether it would pay for the city to go into the garbage business.

But that was precisely the reason Mayor Marv Dailey and the rest of the council were pushing for the city buying its own truck.

Dailey cited a readjusted cost analysis the city had done after its original plan. He also said the new analysis met with the approval of Delaine and Rhett Hiney who had circulated a petition opposing the purchase.

"The first original couple (the Hineys) was satisfied," Dailey said. "The ones that got them to sign the petition are satisfied now."

Dailey pointed out that wages for the garbage truck driver would comprise just two days a week of the person's salary. The remaining time would be spend doing city maintenance - a part-time position for which until this point the city has had difficulty finding and keeping employees.

"We're going to have to hire a person because we think this is going to help," said Dailey, asking the council to make a decision last night.

Leach moved that the board accept the Elliot Equipment bid, with Grussing seconding his motion. After the motion passed narrowly, Hagebock asked Larsen and Haeckel why they opposed buying the truck.

"Why don't you think it's a good idea?" Hagebock asked.

"I don't think there's money in it," said Larsen.

"If you don't want to do this, what's the alternative?" asked Grussing.

Dailey said he had consulted several garbage haulers in the area.

"I have not talked to a community that loses money in garbage," he said. "Everything we looked at we thought we were fair about it."

In other business Wednesday night, engineers Kelly Evans and Curt Wiseman of I&S Group met with the council about possible improvements to the city lagoon to meet new Iowa Department of Natural Resources requirements. While the city is not on a specific deadline to make changes, Evans said that GKN - which has requested sending water from its industrial side through the city system - faces a deadline at the end of 2015. And if the city takes on GKN's industrial effluent, it would fall under GKN's schedule, Evans said.

The city currently handles GKN's sewer system while GKN treats its own industrial effluent which is discharged into the Des Moines east fork.

After reviewing possible improvement and solutions, Evans proposed an aeration lagoon with LEMNA system consisting of baffles to creat turbulence and floating covers to keep bacteria warm in winter, helping the process.

Evans said he had also met with GKN a couple weeks ago and was told it would take two to 12 months before the company decided to partner with the city on the project. Evans also noted a November deadline for Community Development Block Grants that would hopefully fund at least part of the project.

"It has to be done," said Grussing.

"If we can work with

GKN, it's a win-win for us both," said Hagebock.

Wiseman said the city would need a treatment agreement with GKN based on flow through the city system.

Larsen said the council should move forward with its plans to include GKN in the project.

A third topic the council dealt with Wednesday night was a request to allow a house to be moved into Suburban Estates South Addition, provided the house is remodeled.

"I think we need to get houses down there. To get houses we need to put houses in there," said Dailey.

Leach said the house would have to meet square-footage requirements.

Council members also noted covenants may have to be revised to move in an existing home.a



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