City approves agreement with first price increase in 9 years
By Anna Jauhola
The Hallock City Council has approved a renewed sanitation services agreement with Anderson Sanitation Service, rural Hallock. The three-year agreement starts Jan 1 and includes a 4.5 percent overall increase, the first the company has requested since 2010.
During the regular council meeting on Monday, Oct. 7, Hallock resident David Kaul again questioned why the city uses Anderson Sanitation and doesn’t bid out the contract to others in the area.
Mayor Dave Treumer said the city does not normally bid out the sanitation contract “unless there’s a reason to do it.”
Kaul noted there are several other sanitation services in the area. Councilmember Kevin Waller said, as those companies are not local, they would charge mileage both ways and could cause problems with regular pickup. Everyone in the council chambers agreed Anderson Sanitation does a great job and when a holiday interferes with pickup, they work harder the following day.
Kaul suggested the city sign a one-year lease with Anderson Sanitation and see if other area sanitation services submit bids to cover Hallock.
“It would be hard to put it on bids for one year only,” Treumer said. “They’re not going to submit a bid for that. It’s unlikely.”
Kaul suggested that whoever submits bids would take a three-year agreement after Anderson’s one-year lease is up.
“We have a franchise agreement with them,” said Councilmember Naomi Larson regarding Anderson’s. “Which we signed years ago. Unless they raise their prices exorbitantly, we will stay with them. And they have not. So we are under a franchise agreement with them.”
According to the solid waste collection franchise agreement of 1994, the city needed to renew this agreement annually. But at some point, that switched to a three-year franchise agreement, as was done in 2010 for the 2011-2013 agreement.
Kaul still has an issue with being charged for garbage collection when he does not use the service, he said. Treumer reminded him that state statute allows cities to charge for garbage pickup to cover the cost of hiring a sanitation service and also authorizes cities to collect unpaid service charges through assessments.
The council approved the 2020-2022 Anderson Sanitation agreement with increased rates.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the contracted costs from the increased rates nine years ago and this year’s increases:
Residential Quarterly: $21.00 $22.00
Residential Yearly: $80.50 $84.50
Cubic yard: $8.37 $9.30
32-gal. Anderson Bags: $2.00 $2.24
16-gal. Anderson Bags: $1.00 $1.12
Refuse not in Anderson Bags
32-gal. Volume: $2.20 $2.46
16-gal. Volume: $1.10 $1.23
In other business, the council:
• Approved a resolution allowing Two Rivers Golf Club to dispense alcohol.
• Approved a zoning permit for Mike Docken to build a patio on the south side of his home and front steps on the north side.
• Approved a zoning permit for CHS Ag Service to build seed bins on the east side of the chemical shed for seed storage and a 24×24 scale/treatment shed.
• Heard from Waller that the city received 14 applications for the city clerk-administrator position and the interview committee has pared it down to five people to interview.
At the special Sept. 23 meeting, the council:
• Appointed Kendra Johnson as acting city clerk and updated the banking privileges to include her and remove former City Clerk Angela Grafstrom.
• Approved and set the 2020 budget.
• Approved a levy certification of $461,738, which can be lowered before the end of the year.
• Set the Truth in Taxation meeting for Monday, Dec. 2, 6 p.m.