The Vandalia City Council spent a little more time discussing recycling at their meeting on Monday night. Vandalia City Clerk Peggy Bowen told the City Council that she has received some complaints from residents about the $1.25 per month recycling fee, and a few have said they will not pay it. Bowen says she was bringing it to the City Council to direct her on what she should do. Alderman B. John Clark said if they do not pay their full bill, with which the $1.25 is a part of that bill, then the matter should be referred to the City Attorney as they did not pay their full bill. A few other Aldermen agreed with that sentiment. Alderwoman Dorothy Crawford said that cutting off a water customer over $1.25 was nonsense. City Attorney Ryan Connor said there is nothing wrong with a low dollar lawsuit, if the city does intend to enforce the recycling fee. Connor said he doesn’t like to use court costs as a sword, but if a resident did not pay the $1.25 fee they would then potentially face court costs plus time in court. And, Connor also pointed out the city has committed to providing these funds to FAYCO and the Soil and Water District for regular and e-recycling already. After discussion, the City Council told Bowen to handle it as they would anyone that didn’t pay their full water/sewer bill. In other words, if the $1.25 fee is not paid, the water customer would eventually be shut off.
Meanwhile, Alderman Ken Hubler—who is the head of the Cemetery and Landfill Committee—stated he is going to be working to find a way to either lower or abolish the $1.25 fee. Hubler said he will be looking at other ways to potentially lower or eliminate the fee in the future. Hubler said he doesn’t want to pay it either, but said it was the way to keep the program going until a better funding solution could be found.