Danville may build yard waste site itself

Danville may build yard waste site itself

DANVILLE — City officials are proposing that city workers do much of the construction of the new yard waste site in order to keep the project within budget.

Last month, the city rejected its sole bid on the project, which totaled $248,000 from Midwest Asphalt, because the city's budget for the entire project is $250,000, according to public works director Doug Ahrens. If that bid were accepted, he said, the city would not have money left to build a small pole barn on the site, erect fencing and extend electricity to the site.

Ahrens said city administration revised the scope of work and now is taking a proposal before the city council Tuesday night that has the city serving as its own general contractor but saving about $100,000 on the project.

Last year, the city chose several acres of undeveloped land northeast of the city as the best spot for a new landscape yard waste facility. The proposed site, which is a long, triangular plot that's been farmland in the past, is northeast of the city limits at the far east end of the unpaved portion of East Liberty Lane, which is east of Bowman Avenue. The city had been searching for a new site for processing and recycling of the city's yard waste material because its current leased site at the privately owned Brickyard Landfill must be vacated soon so the space can be used by the landfill.

This new site is part of a five-year solid-waste plan the city council approved in 2012. The plan increases residents' monthly garbage fee from $18 to $23.50 by the fifth year and increases the annual yard waste sticker from $20 to $40 by the fifth year. The five-year plan includes hundreds of thousands of dollars for capital purchases, mostly associated with the yard waste program, including the construction of the new site and new equipment to process the waste.

Ahrens said that Ray Garcia, the city's superintendent of streets and sewers, would manage the construction project and employees in the public works department would do the trucking and other work that would involve the city's own equipment, like a hydraulic excavator and skid steer. The city will lease operators and equipment, including a scraper that moves large amounts of soil and a bulldozer, for other parts of the project for which it does not have the equipment or the manpower.

Ahrens said the outside equipment and manpower will still come from the original bidder, Midwest Asphalt.

"What this does is reduce costs by using the city personnel where applicable as well as overseeing the project management portion," said Ahrens, who explained that the original bid was too expensive and beyond what city officials had anticipated in their preliminary budget for this new landscape yard waste site.

Under this arrangement, Ahrens said the total cost of construction should not exceed $150,000, and the city hopes to complete it for even less.

If the council approves of this revised proposal, Ahrens said work on the site will begin immediately with the goal of finishing by the end of the year, weather permitting. The site will need a final inspection from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and once that's complete, Ahrens said it would be ready for use.

He said it will be challenging for city personnel to take on this project along with their existing daily responsibilities. Ahrens said it may affect the fall street sweeping program and fall leaf pickup program, because there will be manpower and city trucks tied up in this.

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