Altoona council votes down changes in garbage service

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- A community weighs in on potential changes to its garbage service.

Thursday night the Altoona City Council took public comment about switching garbage service exclusively to one provider as opposed to giving residents the option to choose.

After taking public comment, the City Council ultimately decided to trash the plan to switch exclusively to one provider but there were some that say the switch would still be a good idea.

“This is the first place that I have ever had to look around to find garbage hauling service,” Sue Gordon said as she stood before a packed council chamber Thursday night.

Gordon says when she made the move to Altoona she was surprised to find that she had to search around for a trash provider.

“I was absolutely amazed that the city did not have a hauler private or otherwise,” Gordon said.

Gordon was just one resident to voice her opinion on the City of Altoona making the switch exclusively to one trash provider. Right now five providers offer pick up throughout the city.

“I do not want to be told which company I have to work with,” Bill Gibson told council members.

Gibson, who owns Gibson's Water Care says he's had problems with certain providers in the past and he likes having the option to switch when he wants to.

“I have been very dissatisfied with a couple of companies, the company I have right now I’m satisfied with,” Gibson said.

City Administrator Mike Golatt says the proposal came from a suggestion of someone living in Altoona. Golatt says other cities have gone the route of switching to one provider. He says River Falls made the switch to just one provider and has seen benefits overtime.

“Where your benefits would come would be price, impact on roads and the city could contract for a franchise fee,” Golatt explained.

Despite the benefits, business owners like Bill Gibson say it’s still always nice to have options.

“I definitely want the option and I don't think the city or anybody else should make that decision for me,” Gibson said.

After Thursday night’s vote the plan will not move forward for future discussion.

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