Grand Forks City Council waits on recycling contract

After an August vote rejected plans to expand Grand Forks’ recycling program, a City Council committee chose to wait Tuesday to make a decision on a contract that would continue the program as it is.

A vote to grant or deny preliminary approval to the city’s proposed five-year contract with firm Waste Management was tabled until the next meeting of the Service and Safety Committee on Nov. 26 by the request of council member Ken Vein.

Vein said he wanted to wait to discuss the matter until the committee could meet in person as he and council member Tyrone Grandstrand were both phoning into Tuesday night’s meeting.

City Administrator Todd Feland said a vote on the contract could be delayed by two weeks but should be given final approval by the full council before the city’s existing contract with Waste Management is done on Dec. 31.

At its next meeting, the committee can decide whether five years is the right length for the contract and discuss the possibility of adopting a pay-as-you-throw system for city garbage services, Feland added.

Continuing the recycling program’s existing level of service would result in a 10-cent increase to the mandatory fee paid by single-family homes. In 2013, residents paid $2.42 per month for the program.

Next year, owners of apartment buildings with three or more units will pay $1.29 per unit instead of $1.24.

Waste Management predicted a 3 percent price increase each year in the bid for services it submitted to the city.

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