Spirit Lake City Officials Not Sure If Clean Up Days Will Be Held This Spring; There's Also Uncertainty As To When Green Waste Disposal Site May Open

Thu 3-26-2020

(Spirit Lake)-- City officials in Spirit Lake say they aren't sure if a citywide clean-up days will be held this spring due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.

City Attorney/Administrator Greg Owens says the city council discussed the matter at their meeting earlier this week, but as of now a decision hasn't been made. He says whether or not the city's green waste disposal site will be opened is also up in the air...Owens01 

"Typically we would open the green waste site sometime in April and typically we would have clean-up days in May. As everybody knows the problem we're facing right now is there's still some uncertainty with what further orders or requests or suggestions might come through the Governor's Office or the state of Iowa and until there's more definitive answers on what's going to be happening with the coronavirus situation we're not in a position to announce any dates. And I think everybody agrees probably one of the worst things we could do is announce a date and then for some reason have to take it back, because once you've done that the cat's kind of out of the bag and it's going to be hard to let people know that they shouldn't be putting stuff out for example, so."

Owens says the city still plans to do curbside pickup of green waste once again this season, but he says a start-up date for that also is still pending...Owens02 

"We're just going to wait and see how this plays out and as soon as we have the opportunity to announce a date we'll do it. I would like people to know also if for some reason in the next 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks it doesn't appear we're going to be able to have spring clean-up days one of the options being considered so we don't have to skip a year would be maybe doing that in the fall, for example."

When it comes to the green waste site, Owens says the concern is this:...Owens03 

"Not just because it's outside that you wouldn't think it would be a problem, you know we also have the issue the minute we open that up I guarantee you we've invited, based on numbers, 200, 300, 400 people in a day. Sometimes 200, 300, 400 people in the spring in the matter of an hour or two hours, that's how crowded it is. And so that creates pretty obvious issues with the current Governor's orders regarding anything that you might expect to have 10 or more people, so. I should say more than 10. So we've got that concern and of course our attendants have to interact at the vehicle with people to check I-D's and water bills or whatever they might bring for identification and we're still sorting through those concerns. When we do open we may have for example, more hours or we may consider additional days."

Owens adds essential city services continue even though City Hall is closed to the public. He says the city continues essential services and is issuing building permits and tags for pickup of electronic and white goods. Anyone with questions or needing something from city hall should call 336-1871.