During the regularly scheduled Osceola City Council meeting April 1, council members voted to continue with the current path of the facade project, retain curbside cleanup and act on recycling delinquencies.
Ty Wheeler, city clerk/administrator, brought Osceola City Hall’s final facade design, recommended by Historic Preservation Commission, for the facade project to council members.
The design mirrors how the building looked in the early 1900s, when it was originally built. It will have a brick front, a window on the front left of the face, a door on the front right and a window and door in the middle that mimic a space for a garage door.
However, the design will cost more than expected.
“The chamber had a brickmason come in and provide more detailed cost estimates on several of the buildings. And, our building came back with far more repair work than we originally thought it needed,” Wheeler said. “Essentially, the original budget for our building, which was just $150,000, is going to be consumed by the brickwork. So, all the other stuff, the inlet, the windows and such, would come extra and wouldn’t be covered by the grant.”
Council members discussed two options for the facade: just do what the grant money allowed, or proceed with the extra work, costing an extra $22,641.
“We’ve got avenues that can absorb the additional cost. It’s just a matter of whether or not we want to go forward with it,” Wheeler said. “Whenever we do this work, this is the time to fix the facade. ... If there’s ever a future with the building, you’re going to want to go forward with the work now. And, obviously, all the other fronts are going to be fixed up, so why wouldn’t we do ours.”
Council members passed the motion unanimously to spend the extra $22,641 to remodel the face of the city hall.
“I understand the benefit of that $22,641 expense is that the building then becomes, at least, a possibility, and that’s for future action if it ever goes that way,” said Council Member Dr. George Fotiadis. “But then, it might become eligible for maybe even further restoration if we ever intend to use it as a city office building in the future.”
Council members also discussed switching from curbside cleanup to a single dump site.
“We had the option to transition from curbside cleanup to a single location with roll-off bins. The advantage being, we could accept more material, including lumber and windows,” Wheeler said. “The change would be it’s not curbside anymore. The account holder would be responsible for taking their waste to a single location.”
Included in the single dump site option was pickup by Jim’s Sanitation to haul waste to the location for those who are physically unable to do it themselves.
“I wanted some input from as many residents as I could get. I got about 75 people that I talked to at different times, and out of that 75, there was three of them that said they would prefer a dumpster. They lived in an apartment house and already had a dumpster,” Council Member Dan Hooper said. “The rest said they want no part in one location. The reason for that being, even the people that don’t have a pickup, every other house has stuff and there was not enough sanitation to go to people’s houses and pick stuff up along with the dumpster.”
Jim’s Sanitation is unable to take certain materials, such as carpet and windows, so one option council members discussed would be to bring someone in who is able to remove the materials and bill the account holder.
“There’s stuff that qualifies. There’s stuff that doesn’t qualify. If it doesn’t qualify, we’re not taking it. With that said, if there’s stuff laying on the street, I guess I wouldn’t be opposed to saying, ‘If you guys don’t move it, we will. At a cost,’” Fotiadis said.
Discussion ended and council members voted across the board to stick with curbside collection instead of switching to a single dumpster site. Council Member Chris Dorsey was absent for the vote.
Problems arose with Osceola’s recycling program during the meeting.
“So far, I want to say that the recycling program has been a big success. We are recycling ten times probably what we were,” Wheeler said. “However, we do have a few, and I do mean a few, just a handful, of those who aren’t utilizing their recycling receptacles appropriately. They’re just using it as another garbage can.”
The problem with using the recycling can as a garbage can is if the garbage is tossed in with the recycling, the entire load of recycling is contaminated.
Council members suggested having a three-strike option, where account holders would have three strikes before their recycling is taken away.
“If you give them the option, there’s going to be people who take advantage of that option just to get rid of that other can,” Hooper said.
Another suggestion was fining the account holder and adding it on the bill as two garbage cans instead of one if the recycling bin was used for trash.
“Maybe, an alternative would be, ‘Okay, now you’re going to be charged for two cans, double your pickup fee, and you’re going to be charged that a minimum of six months,’” Fotiadis said. “’And, if your recycle cans are clear for six months, we’ll put you back on.’”
This option was considered, and detailed the account holder would get an extra garbage can and be charged double until the recycling can was kept clear a designated amount of time. At that time, the account holder would only be charged for the one garbage can.
However, council members decided to start with talking with the account holders and explaining that the contamination of recycling causes problems, such as contamination at higher levels. This means if a contaminated load of recycling got past the city and was shipped to the state recycling center and contaminated more recycling, the amount of money spent on picking up the recycling across the state was wasted since the recycling would be unusable.
Council members passed a motion to contact account owners personally to explain the problem, with a suggestion by Fotiadis that if the problem continued, there could be a proposal to fine or penalize the account holders.