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City Council talks trash

City Engineer Kristy Treichel told the City Council Tuesday night that the transition from Waste Management to Veolia is going well, and almost all issues have been cleared up.

The city switched from Waste Management trash service to Veolia last January.

Treichel said there were a few problems during the transition, but they have been resolved or improved.

There had been many complaints from citizens unable to get in contact with Veolia's customer service department.

Veolia installed a new phone system and since then, Treichel said the number of complaints about Veolia's customer service has gone down.

There were also questions about having trash removal services suspended during vacations, etc. Treichel said the number of calls about these questions has gone down since Veolia's phone system upgrade too.

In response to the problems River Falls residents have been having with Veolia, the company will not charge a late fee to the city's customers this year.

Treichel also said that having larger recycling bins has dramatically increased the amount of recycling generated by River Falls residents.

Also at Monday's council meeting, Fire Chief Scott Nelson outlined a plan to re-structure the fire inspections system.

The new system would use only four regular inspectors, each specializing in a different type of inspection, as opposed to the current 10 inspectors divided up into different districts.

Nelson's new plan would involve the City Council passing a law allowing RFFD to inspect buildings only once a year instead of twice. Nelson's proposed new plan would also take the cost of paying inspectors down from $24,496 to $14,085.

In a closed session, the council voted to start the process of buying 74 acres in the northwest part of Sterling Ponds to be used for a new industrial park, as the two existing business parks in the city have become full.

The council also unanimously agreed to bring back the Border Battle Mountain Bike Event on Aug. 21, and approved a zoning change for St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity's new Apollo Street property.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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