Byline: M.A. Smith Contributing writer
Du Quoin's recycling program has been cut from the 2021 budget, Mayor Guy Alongi announced at Monday's city council meeting.
Alongi said the program was not being followed correctly and wound up costing the city more money and staff time than they wanted to spend. People have been leaving non-recyclable or prohibited items both in and around the three recycling bins placed around the city.
This resulted in Street Department, and sometimes Water Department, employees expending time and incurring extra costs that Alongi said was roughly between $3,000 and $5,000. As well, he said there has been a general lack of serious community participation and an inability to monitor the bins.
Alongi said the recycling program cost the city $24,000-
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Alongi said he's sorry that the city can't sustain a recycling program but said the city would be willing to revisit it later, and asked City Attorney Aaron Atkins to explore the possibility of getting a recycling center through the City's landfill contract with Perry County.
In this, pro-recycling citizens "lost a battle, not a war," Alongi said.
The city council agreed to keep its twice-monthly meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in 2021. All meetings begin at 6 p.m. and are held at City Hall. According to the city, no meeting dates fall on holidays in 2021.
A close to 2020
In his closing comments for the final meeting of 2020, Alongi sent a "double thank you" to city employees and citizens for their service and support in 2020.
Commissioner Chuck Genesio gave a recovery update on City Water employee Ron Darnell.
Commissioner Mike Ward gave a shout-out to City Police Chief Steve Ingram, Sgt. Chris Robinson and his wife, and other members of the police department who made "Shop with A Cop" a success during this difficult year and who continue to work with the youth in Du Quoin.
Commissioner Bob Karnes commended city employees as "quality people who do quality work" and had apt final words for all: "Stay positive and test negative!"