Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
The Citywide Cleanup contract with Gardner Disposal was approved at the April 19 Gardner city council meeting. Cleanup will be May 8.
The contract is for a guaranteed total of $40,000 and an additional $200 per ton.
City council members had pulled it from the April 5 consent agenda and tabled it for further discussion at that time.
Kellen Headlee, public works director, said they had reached back out to Gardner Disposal about changes in the contract.
“They weren’t interested in the risk of a ticketing system and wanted a guaranteed minimum,” he said. “They will pull out of the endeavor altogether if it is not the original contract.”
Mark Baldwin, council member, had suggested a ticketing system based on the number of homes that sign up for the city wide cleanup at the April 5 meeting.
Baldwin said Gardner Disposal is a business with overhead, and it is their prerogative but whether the city wanted to meet the contract was up to the city.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, said moving forward he would like to have the city look to the value of the annual Gardner service.
“To change the rules of engagement now so close would not be a fair move,” he said.
Gregoryck said he would like Gardner Disposal to provide data based on the pickup and cost.
“It would enable us as a city to be better equipped to get ahead of this,” he said. “It would enable us to price into bids.”
Todd Winters, council president, said he understands not wanting to subsidize your neighbor but the city already does with the airport and golf course.
“Tax money supports the airport,” he said. Winters said he senses the citywide cleanup is appreciated and popular in the community. “It helps the community in general,” he said.
Baldwin said the city wasn’t getting any other proposals.
He said he would suggest having a place residents could bring their stuff as a load to as the city does with the yard waste program.
Steve Shute, mayor, said Baldwin’s idea made a lot of sense. “A load is a lot cheaper than a ton,” he said.
Baldwin said he didn’t think using tax money to take away trash was a requirement but a nicety.
Kacy Deaton, council member, said on a personal level she loved the citywide cleanup, but she struggled with signing a blank check for a program without knowing the cost.
Gregoryck said this would be good for next year’s discussion.
The City-Wide Cleanup is May 8, 2021

Other business:
Resolutions were passed to start the process for public hearings on amending the Community Improvement Districts and a TIF district for the Main Street Market Place.
Tyler Ellsworth, bond counsel, said the new Freddie’s development is on an additional parcel that is partially outside the district. The amendment would be to have the entire Freddie’s site in the district.
Public hearing is set for June 7.
A development agreement for the Plaza South Community Improvement District was passed with a delayed start date for sales tax collection.
Shute said commercial leasing had had a slowdown in 2020 because of Covid.
Ellsworth said it made sense to delay the one percent sales tax collection to July 1, 2022.
A sewage system improvement project to replace the city’s UV System for $400,000 passed.
A charter ordinance was adopted amending the establishment of office terms and swearing-ins for the city passed. The ordinance was amended  for the elected officials to be swore in in December.
City council tabled the amendment for the Municipal City code changes to the Governing Body Rules of Procedure to the May 3 meeting.
Baldwin said the item was redundant to the charter ordinance for swearing in elected officials.
Deputy City Administrator Amy Nasta said it was a larger housekeeping item to pull things out that weren’t about rules and governing and were the duplicity to the other ordinance.