By Vinde Wells
Oregon residents started getting their new garbage totes this week, but not everyone is pleased.
Commissioner Jim Barnes told the city council Tuesday evening that he heard from one resident who had ordered a small tote but received the standard 95-gallon size instead.
In answer to Barnes’ question, Commissioner Kurt Wilson said the smaller totes have not yet arrived from the manufacturer in North Carolina.
As soon as they do, he said, Moring Disposal employees will swap out the 95-gallon totes for the smaller size.
The city council approved a request from Moring Disposal, Inc., Forreston, in September that residents switch from garbage cans to the totes, which have wheels, for both garbage and recyclables.
If properly positioned, the totes can be picked up and emptied by an automatic arm on the garbage truck, which means less manpower is required for garbage collection.
Some residents voiced concern, however, that the 95-gallon totes would be too much for them to handle.
Moring officials, who are supplying the totes at no cost to residents, agreed to furnish smaller totes to anyone who requests them.
In another matter, although Mayor Ken Williams announced that no discussion would be held or action taken on a proposed intergovernmental agency agreement with Ogle County over Sixth Street, an Oregon resident voiced her opposition.
At the beginning of the meeting, Williams said no closed session would be held, as listed on the agenda, to discuss the closing of the 100 block of South Sixth Street for the new proposed county jail.
Attorneys for the city and county have been negotiating an agreement between their clients for several weeks.
“We have received nothing back so we won’t be discussing it,” he said.
During the public comment period, Anne Jones told the council that she hopes Williams, Wilson and commissioner Terry Schuster will join Barnes and commissioner Tom Izer in opposing the county’s plan build the new jail at the Sixth Street location.
“The county has no regard for private property, small business, or even the City of Oregon,” she said. “Now you, the mayor, and commissioners Schuster and Wilson, you have the burden to keep this town out of the county’s hands….Let’s keep our uniqueness and let’s keep our town the way it should be.”
The county approved a contract Nov. 21 with Chicago architects Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc. for the architectural and engineering design of a 70,000 square-foot jail facility with a connecting link from the new facility to the existing county judicial center.
In other business, two announcements were made.
Schuster said students from the Oregon High School social entrepreneurship class will hold an open house on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Coliseum to showcase the micro-businesses they have developed and to seek investors.
Oregon resident Ginger Pearson said that for the first time, toys for the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots program are being collected in Oregon.
Drop-off sites have been established at the city hall, as well as several local businesses for new, unwrapped toys for youths ages 0-18.
The toys collected will go to families in Ogle County, she said.