Galesville amends, extends city garbage cart collection agreement

The City of Galesville’s switch to garbage cart collection likely became more affordable for the city — and longer — last week after an amendment to its contract with Hilltopper Refuse and Recycling, Inc. 

When the city council originally entered an agreement with the garbage collection company from Onalaska last June, the city needed to get 90 percent (480 out of 533) of residents to switch to the garbage cart system.

The new agreement will lower that requirement to 475 cans, which should be attainable as the city is currently at 473 cans. The council passed the new agreement — which extends the overall contract with the company — by a 3-2 vote, with Jean Wallner and Diane Redsten opposing the change.

Some residents share a garbage cart with a neighbor or rely on private dumpsters, the council said at last Thursday’s monthly meeting.

Switching to the new number will save the city money in the short term, as the contract originally stated that the city would pay the difference for each can under that 90 percent threshold. 

With the current 473 enrollment, that would have cost the city $1,356.60 each year. 

The amendment does not change the monthly $16.15 collection fee for residents.

Gary Hougum of Hilltopper Refuse & Recycling offered the adapted contract, which the council unanimously approved. 

The change also includes a two-year contract extension, meaning the company will run garbage collection in the city until at least Dec. 31, 2034.

“Pushing a 10 year contract out two years — I don’t know that I would have supported a 10-year contract in the first place — But two more years, what’s the big deal,” asked council member Dave Carlson in his first meeting on the council.

Wallner said she wants to see Hougum and Hilltopper “go back to the drawing board” and come up with a better offer.

With the original 10-year contract, though, others said the company isn’t obligated to change anything in the contract and could stick the city with the bill instead of an extension and lower number requirements.

“He doesn’t have any benefit in renegotiating down for us. He already has a signed contract,” Kelly Kreger said.

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