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Armstrong tables accepting garbage truck bid

March 5, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

ARMSTRONG?- The Armstrong City Council Monday night tabled action on accepting a bid for a garbage truck and containers after a number of citizens questioned if it would pay for the city to go into the garbage business.

Rhett and Delaine Hiney and Keith Lang questioned the city's figures, and the Hineys provided a cost analysis sheet they said showed a loss to the city to run a garbage truck.

The projected cost for the truck, with interest, is $181,000.

Rhett Hiney asked if buying the truck was a "done deal".

"It's a done deal that we're going to go into the garbage (business)," said Mayor Marv Dailey, adding that the council has been discussing buying a garbage truck for the last year and a half. "It's went on and on for a long time," he said.

Hiney asked a number of questions, including what the city's priorities would be if there was a snow - garbage or plowing.

Council member Dave Grussing said the city could make a policy of picking up garbage the next day if snow made garbage pickup impossible.

And Connie Thackery, city clerk, said that for the past 40 years the city has had a man and a half in the maintenance department, but a year and half ago it lost its half-time person. One reason the city has been looking at hauling its own garbage is to create a full-time second position by having the second maintenance person drive the garbage truck.

"So it doesn't matter if the numbers don't cash flow. You're still going to do this," Hiney said, later presenting a petition of 84 signatures. "A lot of the people would like this to come to a vote in November," Hiney said. "Please don't make a mistake the rest of us have to live with."

Grussing thanked the Hineys for bringing their concerns to the council, noting that he knew a lot of the petition signers.

"Not one of them has said a word to me," Grussing noted. "I had not heard a negative comment from a single person."

"Basically if we break even with this, I think we're in a win-win situation," said Grussing.

The board later decided to table accepting a bid for a month. Dailey said the city can re-run the spread sheet.

"I think the thing of it is we've got to have the straight facts first," Dailey said.



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