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Tama efforts to be green remain blue

Mayor threatens to “pull” recycling bins

February 8, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"Pull (recycling bins) out, if citizens can't take the responsibility of keeping (the area) clean and not put in there what's not supposed to be," Tama Mayor Dan Zimmerman told city council members at their regular meeting Monday night.

The recycling space along West 5th Street north of the Tama Civic Center- Fire Station complex has been the source of problems over the course of several years.

Zimmerman said Monday City Clerk Judy Welch had contacted the Tama County Sanitary Waste Disposal Commission concerning the problem. He said she learned the commission maintains it is up to individual cities to keep their areas in order.

Article Photos

Materials in one of the bins at the Tama recycling collection site bore some evidence of items other than containers for which it is restricted in this photo taken Tuesday morning, Feb. 5. Efforts continue to keep the area tidy and for it’s intended purpose despite ongoing problems seen by city officials.
News-Herald/John Speer

The county commission places the recycling bins across the county and contracts for pickup of the material which is deposited in a series of dumpsters.

LeGrand Sanitation is currently in the middle of a two-year contract to pick up from the sites, Susan Jones, Disposal Commission secretary told The News-Herald.

She said the hauler's contract makes the firm responsible for the disposal of the materials collected. Under other arrangements, the county would have to bear the cost she said.

The recyclables are supposed to be sorted according to their type - glass, metal, newsprint, plastic - and deposited in the corresponding bin.

However, council members said Monday night the problem of household garbage being placed in the bins and overflowing continues.

A wooden fence built around three sides of the recycling area a couple of years ago has contained some of the materials from blowing away but does not address the issue of illegal disposal of materials not allowed.

Zimmerman said he believes the city crew should try to clean up the space on one more occasion and if the problem continues, recycling efforts should end at the location.

Big Bump In Insurance Cost

Tam City Council members learned Monday night the city will be billed $113,000 for workmen's compensation insurance coverage in the premium year beginning April 1. This compares to the current bill which totals $42,000.

City Clerk Welch told the council the number of claim incidents had caused the spike. She said insurance representatives have explained the number of incidents are responsible for determination of insurance cost for workmen's compensation.

Of the claims for Tama employees last year, a total of four incidents resulted in medical costs totaling $2,500 or less.

The city's current deductible rate is $500.

In an effort to hopefully reduce the number of incidents and reduce the total cost of coverage, council members vote 4-0 to raise the deductible amount to $2,000.

Voting in favor were members Kenny McAdoo Crystal Kaufman, Robert Tyynismaa and Steve Baier. Member Mike Carnahan was absent.

City Clerk Welch said the city would have to wait a year to see if the change was effective because the evaluation of claims is done on a three-year cycle.

Approve Hardon Loan

Another in a series of downtown revitalization loans was approved by the council for Tama businessman and developer Ed Hardon on a 4-0 vote.

Council members asked Hardon to meet with them after some expressed concern his latest loan request would divert all the $150,000 in rehab funds to his projects and were secured by second mortgages.

However, council members Steve Baier said Monday night he recognized Hardon was the only one using the low-interest loans and was "aggressively" working to improve the downtown buildings he owned.

Hardon, said the loan for the 126 West 3rd Street building would allow him to finish an upstairs apartment which h is already rented. In addition, he said he has a business prospect for the first floor.

Hardon said he plan ned to proceed with work with or without the city loan.

He said work on the adjacent property at 122-24 West 3rd had resulted in keeping the business in Tama.

In other business:

the council tabled a request by Iowa Premium Beef to connect to the city sanitary sewer system to carry human waste to allow for an postponed informational meeting to be held.

set city-wide clean up week for April 15-19.

approved a housing rehabilitation grant totaling $21,430 for a residence at 507 East 6th St.

approved sponsoring the grant application of the Tama American Legion Club for a Tama County Community Foundation grant application.



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