By Margie Holmgren
The Kennedy City Council voted to switch garbage providers at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 14.
Scott Winge, Northern Sanitation Service Inc., Stephen, Minn., attended the meeting to see if the council had additional questions about his contract.
Shortly after Winge left, Brian and Tressa Anderson, Anderson Sanitation, Hallock, attended the meeting.
“We were just wondering what you guys are thinking,” asked Brian Anderson. “We thought we were doing a pretty good job and are willing to work with you on any changes you’d like to make.”
Tressa Anderson had some questions regarding how the proposal from Northern Sanitation addressed businesses with tipper carts and how that would be billed.
Garbage at one of the churches and two of the businesses in town are not picked up each week, so the concern expressed by Anderson’s was whether these entities would be overbilled or if the expected revenue is overstated.
“That’s something we really didn’t discuss,” stated Councilor Jon Turn.
Tressa also explained there are lots of snowbirds that are gone and are not billed in the winter months. For example, the day of the meeting, she had picked up 22 bags.
The contract with Anderson Sanitation shows an increase from $7.91 to $8.68 per month for the years of 2023, 2024 and 2025.
The contract with Northern Sanitation will allow the city to set the base rates for each household with the city being charged a flat amount of $1,250 per month.
The city will also require residents to buy either a sticker or a tag to attach to garbage bags. Residents will be able to use their own bags and have two size options of stickers or labels.
Anderson Sanitation requires residents to buy special orange plastic bags.
There are approximately 100 households in Kennedy. If each household is charged approximately $7.50 per month that’s $750 of income for the city. This is the base rate, then the city will charge for carts, and either a label or tag for your garbage.
“We have to do what is right for the city,” said Turn.
City Clerk Melissa Woinarowicz said there is a lot of work to get done so if the council didn’t make a decision during the meeting, the city would need to hold a special meeting. She explained, if they went with Northern Sanitation, carts need to be ordered and the city either needs to get labels or tags for the bags.
“I didn’t hear Andersons say how much revenue it would be for the city,” said Greg Mitiziga, who is filling in the city maintenance position.
Turn made a motion to approve the contract with Northern Sanitation and it was a unanimous vote in favor.
Woinarowicz is going to work to get some information for options for labels or tags ready for the next meeting, which is set for Monday, Dec. 12.
Turn said they are just looking to make some money for the city.
“Competition isn’t a bad thing,” stated Turn.
The council also received an update from Woinarowicz regarding some payments received in the city, which belong to the Kennedy Fire Department. The payments have been credited to the fire department but the money has not been physically moved into the fire department’s savings account.
Woinarowicz has been going back through the bank statements and books to see where money was received for the fire department and if the funds were physically transferred.
She has enlisted the help of Angie Sobolik of Dahl, Hatton, Muir and Reese to verify and assist her with this discrepancy. She has also discussed the issue with the cities auditors.
The council agreed they need to make a best estimate on the amount and go from there. They want to do make things right with the fire department.
In other business, the council:
• Heard from Greg Mitziga, who is helping the city while they do not have a maintenance employee, regarding the state of the equipment. Several repairs are needed but the council wants to wait until they have a better idea of their financial picture before approving any additional expenses.
• Approved a temporary liquor license for the VFW to be open on Sunday, Nov. 20 for the Vikings football game.
• Certified election results with Earl Mattson being re-elected mayor with 40 write-in votes. Mattson accepted the position at the meeting. Henry Escareno and Ross Hanson were elected to the city council. Both attended the meeting to become familiar with the council business.
• Discussed having a delinquent utility policy in place. Woinarowicz will see what other cities do and have a sample to share with the council at the next meeting.
• Approved snow removal rates for $150 per individual per event. Each snow event takes about four hours. The contract is with Billy and Carson Thorsteinson for snow removal using the city of Kennedy’s equipment. This is a temporary situation while the city does not have a maintenance person on staff.
By Margie Holmgren