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Toledo Council talks recycling, mowing

June 24, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A recycling ordinance, mowing of abated properties, a food bank, rezoning hearing and a Stoplight Festival parade were the main topics at last week's Toledo City Council meeting on June 10.

Eric Haughey approached the city council regarding Razz Recycling, his business which completed its first pick-up on June 8. He said the business picked up "over a ton of stuff" on its first curbside recycling day in Tama and Toledo.

"My biggest thing is I'm passionate about it and I'm going to make sure my stuff goes to recycling," Haughey said. "I have buyers for all of my materials. It's good for the economy.

Article Photos

Eric Haughey

"Our goal is to get a lot more customers," he added. "Hopefully we out-grow the building we are in on 5th Street in Tama and we'll build a new one."

Haughey asked if the city council could write an ordinance allowing curbside pick-up for his company. Currently, there is no ordinance for recycling, while collection of solid waste requires weekly pick-up. He asked the city to write an ordinance allowing bi-weekly recycling pick-up.

"I'm here to ask you guys to amend that ordinance so I can in fact pick up bi-weekly," Haughey said. "Most recycling companies are bi-weekly, so I pick up every other Saturday."

"I'm not really a waste company," Haughey said. "What I pick up isn't waste, it's recyclable. It's a fine line. I'm asking to amend the ordinance or write something new that pertains to recyclers. I'm asking for your blessing with this new business."

Toledo City Attorney Nancy Burk agreed with Haughey. She also suggested that she could work with City Clerk Julie Wilkerson on finding an existing city ordinance in Iowa to use a model for one in Toledo.

"You're right, it's not the same as solid waste," Burk said. "It needs to be defined. I'm sure we could pick up a recycling ordinance from the league of cities. You wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, because I bet the league of cities has something we could use."

The city council voted 3-0 to adopt a new recycling ordinance and set a public hearing on the resolution for 7 p.m. June 24 at the next city council meeting.

Last week, the city council also heard from Don Vorwald, who mows abated city properties for the City of Toledo. Vorwald asked for the compensation of $50, which is the current amount he receives for mowing one abated lawn. Vorwald said he had to mow one lot three times because the grass was too tall once he was notified about it.

Vorwald was informed he can't be paid extra, because the property owners pay the city, who then pays him and the other mowers. The city ordinance says it's a $100 fee, $50 of which goes to the mower, for abated lawns which are taller than the allowed six-inch mark. Therefore, the city can't charge the property owners more to pay for his extra work.

However, the city council did advice Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall to start the procedure of calling mowers when properties exceed the six-inch requirement. Starting the process sooner would hopefully alleviate mowers from cutting grass several times because it's too tall or thick. The city council also approved a resolution to amend the mowing rates. The city will now charge $200 and mowers will be paid $100.

In other city council news, a mobile food bank from Waterloo will be parking at the Reinig Center in Toledo to distribute food. It will be in Toledo on July 23 and the third Tuesdays in August, September and October.

Council Member Travis Mullen also informed the city council that Marshalltown Community College would like to have a parade in Toledo in conjunction with the Stoplight Festival. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. on July 3 before the Harry Gardner 5K. It will be a parade consisting of riding lawnmowers, golf carts and tractors. It will start the South Tama County Middle School and head through downtown Toledo. The parade was approved by the city council.

There will be a rezoning public hearing at 7 p.m. on June 24. It will be in regards to rezoning 108 S. Main St., Toledo Cleaners, from a B1 to an R2. The owner would like to turn the property into a duplex and that was approved by the Planning and Zoning Board.

The city council also approved two building permits. The first was for Chad Chyma for a 20-foot by 20-foot deck. The other was for the State Bank of Toledo for a 15-foot by 9-foot sign.

The next city council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. June 24.



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