New garbage truck purchase approved, though concerns about collection program remain

Alderman Paul Havermale
Posted: Jul. 14, 2014 10:41 pm Updated: Jul. 28, 2014 11:15 pm
Director of Administrative Services Glenda Hackemack

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Quincy aldermen voted 11-3 Monday to buy one garbage truck for $153,100, but concerns linger over the city’s plan to offer two types of garbage collection.

The Mack chassis garbage truck from Downing Sales and Services of Phillipsburg, Mo., will have two tote tippers that will allow garbage crews to dump the 95-gallon totes from both sides of the alley.

Alderman Paul Havermale, R-3, said he doesn’t believe buying the truck with a tote tipper, unlike an automated truck that uses a hydraulic arm to dump the totes, has moved the city forward.

“The way this is set up does not do anything for efficiency,” he said. “We’re taking a step backward to hopefully go forward.”

Havermale previously supported a plan that would have the city exit the garbage and recycling business and let residents pick their own private hauler.

Dissenting with Havermale were Aldermen Steve Duesterhaus, D-2, and Dave Bauer, D-2.

“We need to leave (garbage collection) the way it is,” Bauer said.

Director of Administrative Services Glenda Hackemack said the city needs to start updating its fleet, which she said has cost the city $47,000 in maintenance costs over the last two months alone. The city’s current fleet of garbage and recycling trucks was bought in 2001.

“Since the ordinance passed (in February) that we stay in business, this is the issue,” she said. “We have an aging, dying fleet, and this is the first step the (Garbage and Recycling Committee) is able to move it forward.”

Hackemack believes the city will eventually see savings on workers compensation costs, since workers will be picking up fewer trash bags.

Marty Stegeman, director of Central Services, said the hybrid garage collection system would be unusual, and he did not think it would save time for crews.

“This is not the routine for these types of systems,” he said. “For the most part, you’re either automated or you’re not automated. It’s rather unusual, and we don’t know what our experiences are going to be at this point.”

Stegeman said the city will have to have its fleet examined to see if tippers can be placed on the city’s trucks.

The City Council voted in February to increase the costs of trash stickers from 50 cents to 75 cents on May 1 and offer the optional flat-fee program at $12.99 a month plus $60 for the 95-gallon tote. Both costs would be added to the household water bill.

During the registration period for totes, only 709 households signed up to receive 714 totes. The city’s goal was for 1,000 households to sign up, though when first introduced, officials said 1,500 households were needed for the program to break even.

A four- to six-month build time is expected for the new truck. The city does not expect to launch the tote service until January.

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said he believes more people will be interested in moving to a new system once they see it in operation.

“When more and more people automate, then we can justify buying an automated truck, which then we can start seeing those efficiencies,” he said.  “This is kind of dipping our toes in the water.”

 In other business, the City Council:

• Approved an ordinance making changes to the city’s electronic sign ordinance. It would limit the brightness to no more than 0.3 foot-candles of light output above ambient light conditions. It also sets procedures for when the city receives a complaint about sign brightness.

• Concurred with the recommendation of the Plan Commission to issue a special permit to Faith Presbyterian Church, 1027 S. 24th, for an automatic changeable copy ground sign.

• Approved a short-term loan of up to $600,000 from the general cash reserve to the Quincy Transit Lines to offset expenses. Transit Director Marty Stegeman said the loan will be paid back once transportation dollars arrive from the state.

• Received monthly reports that showed the city took in $787,201 in sales tax in April, an increase of 4.5 percent over last year. The city also received $770,184 from the home rule sales tax, an increase of 3.3 percent.

• Approved a $71,000 contract with Poepping, Stone, Bach & Associates Inc. for the design of the chemical feed system replacement project at the water treatment plant. Construction is estimated to cost $1.2 million.

• Approved the purchase of a folder-inserter mailing machine for $20,668 from T.F. Walz Inc. of East Peoria.

• Agreed to pay the invoice of $15,500 from Prairie State Plumbing and Hearing Inc. for the removal of tube settlers at the water treatment plant.

Director of Central Services Marty Stegeman


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