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Streator approves waste contract with electronic concierge service

Streator residents looking to dispose of electronics and household hazardous wastes are going to have a much easier option in May.

The city approved a waste contract with Waste Management that includes the “At Your Door” concierge service that allows residents to dispose of those materials in addition to other items not allowed in normal waste collection.

Residents will be able to contact the company and have that material picked up at the door.

It will come in an increase in the bill for residents starting in June. City Manager Scot Wrighton said the city reduced the fee to residents for waste last year by $1 and will need to revert the fee back to $23 to make up for an increased charge from Waste Management and the city’s own fees for billing, mailing and administration.

“I think it is more than justifiable because essentially what we’re doing is increasing the fee to the customer by $1 but adding a concierge service that has been disclosed in the bidding process are being worth $1.30,” Wrighton said.

The city received bids from both Waste Management and Republic Services.

Waste Management presented a couple options to the city earlier in the month that included an option of not replacing the 96 garbage containers except on a by-need basis.

The city decided not to replace the garbage containers unless specific ones are deemed necessary.

Residents can expect to learn more about the program in the coming weeks as the company plans to roll out a public education campaign to notify residents of the new service and its offerings.

Dave Schaab, municipal marketing manager of Waste Management, said the service also is being rolled out in Pontiac and he expects city residents will be satisfied with the new service.

Health insurance remains the same, dental switches

The city also revisited a previous discussion on medical insurance and decided to remain with Blue Cross Blue Shield for the time being.

The city considered switching carriers to United Healthcare, but returned to discuss Blue Cross Blue Shield after the insurance carrier dropped its planned rate increase from around 6 percent to about 0.5 percent since the last council meeting.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield I guess thought we weren’t really going to switch,” Wrighton said. “Then they realized, ‘The city of Streator really is serious about this.’ ”

The city could have received a savings of $106,000 by switching to United Healthcare, but Wrighton explained they would then need to avoid any changes for a year, otherwise face a potentially sizable increase.

The council decided to remain from Blue Cross Blue Shield at the reduced rate increase and a $2,800 deductible. They will conduct further research and accept feedback on a possible switch in the future.

Councilman Joe Scarbeary, who is a city firefighter, abstained from voting.

The council did switch from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Delta Dental for dental coverage. The switch results in a $7,800 savings and because there are more providers in the area that accept Delta Dental, according to Wrighton.

Vision and life insurance remain the same.

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