City plans special bulk item drop-off day

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The city will offer citizens a special bulk trash drop-off day later this year.

The City Council Thursday approved a recommendation from the Public Works and Utilities Commission to hold a drop-off day in late August or early fall.

The council met two days later than usual because a quorum of members was not available for the scheduled Tuesday, June 27 date. Since the city went to a new contract with Advanced Disposal at the beginning of this year for garbage collection, residents have not been able to leave large items for collection by the contracted hauler.

Because a switch to standard garbage carts, which all garbage must be placed in for collection, was part of the new contract, Advanced no longer picks up large or separate items.

Instead, residents have to pay a private party to collect such items or take them themselves to the transfer station in Sheboygan.

City Administrator Brian Yerges, in a memo on the proposal to the council, said the committee has been discussing holding a large item collection for some time.

The city showed a positive balance in the garbage and recycling fund, Yerges said. The surplus is large enough that the committee felt it could be used to finance a drop-off event and still retain enough money to offset any possible additional fuel surcharge or rate increase from Advanced at the end of the first year of the contract.

“Staff feels comfortable with using some resources to hold a special event,” Yerges wrote.

Michael Thun of Advanced estimated the cost of a large item drop-off event at a few thousand dollars, according to Yerges.

“We will evaluate the cost of the event and consider future events depending on cost, available funding and citizen comments,” Yerges added in his memo to the council.

The council approved the purchase of a new transformer for the Plymouth Utilities substation 4, but not from the lowest bidder.

The transformer is the next phase in an overall upgrade of the utilities’ substation and electrical transmission system.

The bid accepted a bid from SPX of Waukesha for $496,427.

Pennsylvania Transformer Technology Inc. submitted a bid of $444,025, the lowest of five submitted bids.

Yerges noted that each transformer differed in materials and specifications “that make them more or less efficient compared to other transformers.”

As a result, the city had the bids analyzed by Forster Electrical Engineering, the city’s consultant for the project.

Kenneth Casper of Forster wrote that the firm considered SPX “the lowest bid from a responsible bidder.”

He noted that Forster had a recent experience with a PTTI substation transformer “that failed approximately two years after it was placed in service.”

He also added that PTTI has “limited experience providing transformers of this size and voltage rating.”

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