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Council makes changes to new spring cleanup

April 8, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The Traer City Council will continue to move forward with a new spring cleanup arrangement with Cooley Sanitation this spring, but made some changes during their meeting on Monday, April 1 which include an extra date and pickup option.

According to Councilwoman Laurie Schafer, Cooley's arrangement will be similar to the one they currently have with the City of Reinbeck: Cooley brings dumpsters, manpower and garbage trucks to a location in town for a particular date and time. This would include garbage, building supplies, metal and appliances residents are attempting to dispose of properly. Appliances will be taken for a $10 fee on site. Cooley will also come to a home if the owner cannot get an appliance to the drop off location for $20. They will not go in the house and instead the appliance or garbage must be left on the curb for pickup. Items such as tires and liquid paint will not be accepted and must be taken to the landfill as "special items."

However, concerns were raised on social media about the change, including for residents who may not have a vehicle to properly haul garbage or appliances to the recycling site Traer will use as a location for Cooley. Schafer was approached by Craig Greiner suggesting the NtBasic youth group be a volunteer hauling services for the cleanup date. The group will pick up items for those who are unable to do it themselves. Free will donations to the group would be accepted. The council will discuss with Greiner how residents can best get ahold of the group for pickup. City Clerk Jon Panfil also recommended reaching out to the school to see if any of the sports teams would be interested in a similar arrangement as a potential fundraiser.

Another concern brought up was if the proposed date of Saturday, May 11 would be enough. In addition to this date, the Council approved Friday, May 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for spring cleanup. Dumpsters will be moved out of the area by the evening to avoid residents dumping unwanted items such as tires and liquid paint. Afterwards, any garbage left out after these two dates will be taken by Cooley for a fee and charged to the landowner through the city.

All changes were made to reduce the need for extra manpower from the city as they look to sell their garbage truck, which they have used twice a year and paid $1,000 for insurance alone. No concerns or comments were brought to the Council during the April 1 meeting despite being an item on the posted agenda.

"Our normal cleanup has our city employees going around the city for several days and takes a lot of manpower," Panfil previously said. "We feel this system gets abused by some people who put so much outside or even people from out of town picking out garbage here for anything they will find useful. It's time to look at a different way of doing this."

The citywide garage sales are still planned for May 3 and 4. This is a developing story and updates will be provided in future issues of the Traer Star-Clipper and in the next monthly bill for Traer residents. For further questions about spring cleanup, call the City of Traer at 319-478-2580.



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