By the end of April, if everything goes as planned, the city will distribute almost 11,000 new 64-gallon trash cans and 11,000 96-gallon recycling bins to every resident using city garbage service. The council voted to move ahead with preparing for the switch, including new ordinances that would be needed to direct the program.
During a presentation to the council, Public Works Department director Tim Gramling said the switch will mean fewer injuries among sanitation workers and give the city the ability to deal with a growing population without expanding the fleet of trash trucks.
The city initially began looking at reworking trash pickup as a way to save money. Other, simpler ideas could have saved more in the first years after automation, Gramling said, but residents would see services diminished.
The move to automation is expected to save the city trash service about $21,000 in the first year. Changing the recycling pickup to once every two weeks from the current system of weekly pickups would have saved almost $52,000.
But that savings wouldn't provide the other benefits an automated system would offer, Gramling said. The switch will provide long-term stability for the trash division budget and should mean no additional trucks or sanitation workers for 10 to 15 years, he said.
"It wasn't just about saving money," he said.
In addition, by purchasing a fleet of replacement trucks financed by bonds, the trash division budget will be able to repay the city general fund about $200,000 of the division's outstanding debt. That money is needed for reserves that have been depleted by five years of spending more than the city received in revenue.
And, city manager Scott Meyer said, the new program will be easier to deal with both for residents and the city workers. "It is going to be a better process," he said.
The city currently allows every residential trash customer to put two 35-gallon trash cans on the curb. Recyclables must be separated before being placed at the curb. If a resident needs to put out additional trash, the city sells stickers for $1 each that must be on the garbage bag to be removed.
Under the program being proposed, each home would get free replacement trash cans, but the sticker program would be eliminated. The city will likely offer an option of allowing a second 64-gallon trash can, Gramling said, but the monthly charge would be doubled for that residence.
There would be no need to separate recyclables, but glass would not be allowed in the bins. The city will establish extra drop-off points for recycling glass, Gramling said.
Trucks equipped with grappling arms would lift the trash and recycling bins and dump them, eliminating the need for sanitation workers to physically lift the trash cans. The city would eliminate five jobs, with the workers being moved to other open jobs in public works.
In other action, the council renewed the city's health insurance contract with Anthem Blue Cross-Blue Shield and its dental insurance contract with Delta Dental. The city self-funds its insurance, and the new contract, while estimating that costs will increase by 7.6 percent, will not require any increase in premiums for city workers to keep their families insured.
401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Cape Girardeau City Council action
Cape Girardeau City Hall
401 Independence St.
* Held a public hearing to consider vacating the city\'s interest in a water-line easement west of Cape Girardeau County Park North and east of Limbaugh Lane.
* Held a public hearing regarding the request of Cape Properties LLC and D-7 Holdings, LLC to rezone Lot 1, part of Lot 2, part of Lot 3 of Kensington Place Phase One, and part of the northwest quarter of section 27, township 31 north, range 13 east, situated off Lampe Road, from R-1, residential district, to C-2, general commercial district. The developers plan to build an assisted living facility.
* Approved Bill No. 09-160, an ordinance granting a special use permit to Mark Rademaker for the purpose of maintaining and operating a travel trailer park in a mobile home park, at 3020 Boutin Drive.
* Approved Bill No. 09-163, an ordinance annexing 14.144 acres east of Lampe Road and north of Deerfield to the city upon request of D-7 Holdings LLC and Cape Properties LLC.
* Approved Bill No. 09-165, an ordinance vacating the city\'s interest in a water-line easement west of Cape Girardeau County Park North and east of Limbaugh Lane. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-166, an ordinance changing the zoning of Lot 1, part of Lot 2 and part of lot 3 of Kensington Place Phase One, and part of the Northwest Quarter of Section 27, Township 31 North, Range 13 East from R-1 to C-2. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-169, an ordinance annexing 49.71 acres along LaSalle Avenue upon the request of Norwald Inc. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-170, an ordinance annexing 58.38 acres land along LaSalle Avenue upon the request of Meyr Properties L.P. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-175, an ordinance amending the boundaries of wards 4 and 6 to include annexed properties. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-173, an ordinance approving the record plat of Brinkopf Subdivision. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-174, an ordinance regarding parking near signalized intersections. First reading.
* Approved Bill No. 09-167, a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a lease agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for office space at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. Reading and passage.
* Approved Bill No. 09-171, a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a contract with Delta Dental for employee dental insurance services. Reading and passage.
* Approved Bill No. 09-172, a resolution authorizing the city manager to execute a contract with Anthem Blue Cross for employee health insurance services. Reading and passage.
* Appointed Robert Komorech to the Historic Preservation Commission.
* Re-appointed Scott Rhodes to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
* Re-appointed Pat Elfrink, Brian Neff, Craig Billmeyer and Dana Deisler to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
* Appointed Jill Wicks to the Girardeau Goes Green Advisory Board.
* Approved of a 5 percent beer by-the-drink and Sunday sales liquor license for Bi Xing Liu, d/b/a Chan\'s Restaurant, 1159 N. Kingshighway, Bi Xing, Liu, managing officer.
* Approved of a temporary 5 percent beer by-the-drink license for John J. Yallaly, d/b/a American Legion Post 63, for an event to be held Nov. 7 at 2731 Thomas Drive.
* Approved of a temporary 5 percent beer by-the-drink license for Paul E. Pfeiffer, d/b/a St. Vincent DePaul Auction Committee, for an event to be held Nov. 7 and 8 at the A. C. Brase Arena Building.
* Approved a motion directing city staff to draft ordinances necessary to implement a proposed plan to transition to automated solid waste collection and single stream recycling.