Trash pickup boldly going where no trash has gone before
By RICK MORAIN
For The Jefferson Herald
Trash collection in Jefferson will undergo a major upgrade beginning in September as a result of action by the Jefferson city council at its June 25 meeting.
The council approved the purchase of two new automated trash collection packer trucks and 1,782 trash carts — one for each Jefferson residence and a few extras — at a cost of more than $500,000.
Payment for the equipment will come from the $2.46 million bond issue that the council approved that evening.
The upgrade will result in reduced labor costs and lower workers’ compensation claims and premiums for the city.
The packer trucks — a New Way Sidewinder automated packer and a New Way Cobra rear load packer — are manufactured by Scranton Manufacturing (New Way) in Scranton. Elliott Equipment is a dealer for New Way.
The lower workers’ compensation costs will be achieved through increased safety for city personnel, an added benefit of the upgrade.
The two trucks together will cost $400,200. The trash carts, made by the Shaefer company, have a cost of $114,984.
The Sidewinder truck, with a capacity of 31 cubic yards, has a large arm on the side that picks up a cart, raises it and dumps it into the truck’s compactor, and puts it back down again, all done mechanically by the truck driver who remains in the cab.
The times that additional manual help is necessary can be performed by employees outside a truck. The rear load packer is also equipped with a hydraulic lift, onto which employees can push a cart. The hydraulic does the rest; heavy lifting by employees won’t be required.
The blue trash carts provided to residences will have a capacity of 95 gallons, unless the resident requests a smaller, 65-gallon model. The larger cart is actually easier to push because it has larger wheels, according to a sales rep. The city will own the trash carts.
More information about the changeover to automated trash pickup will be provided by the city in the weeks to come before the official start date of Sept. 2.
In other action, the council approved the sale of the $2.46 million worth of general obligation bonds, part of which will go to finance the new trash pickup equipment. The winning bidder was First Bankers’ Banc Securities Inc. of St. Louis.
“Resizing” by Piper Jaffray, the city’s bonding consultants, resulted in a true interest rate to the city of 2.6334 percent and a net interest cost of $816,529.75 over the 20-year life of the bonds. First Bankers’ Banc Securities paid a premium of $80,000 for the bonds, raising the total to be received by the city by a slight amount, to $2.54 million.
Four other bids were received for the bonds, ranging from an interest rate of 2.6625 percent to 2.7496 percent. Those securities firms were located in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Memphis and Denver.
The city’s debt levy rate will remain at its current level of $2.10 per thousand dollars of taxable valuation until 2022, when payments on the new bond issue will raise it to $2.54. Then as past bond issues are paid off it would drop, although it is unknown what other bond issues might be contemplated by the city in years to come.
The city’s debt levy rate is currently at a level lower than it has been for several years.
The city is considering the resurfacing of Lincoln Way west from Elm Street (Highway 4) to Grimmell Road, a distance of about seven blocks, sometime by 2023 at a cost of $4 million. It was recommended that the city not finance that project through a debt levy.
In addition to the trash collection equipment upgrade, other major projects to be paid in full or in part through the bond issue include the east entryway to the city on Old Highway 30 ($400,000); the Greenewood bike trail along South Highway 4 ($350,000); the Daubendiek Park trail ($325,000); the bike trail to the school and casino ($250,000); school sidewalks ($200,000); a new fire truck ($125,000); and the City Hall elevator ($100,000). Other smaller projects are also included.
Some of the bond-financed projects have already been completed or are in process through other funding sources, and the bond proceeds will replace those moneys in funds like the city’s general fund.
The council also adopted doubling the salaries of council members and the mayor, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
The new levels will be $60 per meeting for council members with a cap of $2,000 per year per member, and $400 per month for the mayor.
The council approved a plat of survey to permit the transfer of a small slice of property in Country Club Estates just north of the Jefferson Community Golf Course from Douglas and Jean Tucker to John and Nancy Gerken. The parties are neighbors.
The council set a date of 5:30 p.m. July 9 for two public hearings.
One is for a proposed amendment to the Jefferson urban revitalization plan. The amendment would increase the 100 percent tax abatement provision for multi-family residential property from the current three years up to 10 years, and to make permanent the current three-year abatement on all other new and improved property.
The 10-year abatement would facilitate the construction by a contractor of three planned four-plex apartment buildings on North Olive Street near St. Joseph Catholic Church.
The other public hearing is part of a regulation required for city participation in a Community Development Block Grant received for the owner-occupied rehabilitation housing program administered by Region XII Council of Governments.
The council meets regularly the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall.