Newton City Council last week approved a five-year franchise agreement with Republic Services for sanitation hauling in the city.


The agreement sets residential hauling weekly rates at $12.75 for curbside collection. Republic, a company based in Quincy, will provide up to two 96-gallon wheeled waste carts for each dwelling or apartment in Newton. The rate schedule will increase over the next four years, ending in the fifth year at $14.35. Extra carts can be obtained for $5 per cart through a month and that fee will also have scheduled increases, reaching $5.63 in the final year of the pact.


Non-residential or commercial rates will be negotiated, based on the waste volume, or per yard rate, from each user and the number of collections. The agreement extends to March 31, 2025. It is retroactive to April 1 of this year.


The vote during the May 19 meeting on the Republic agreement was approved unanimously with council members Rob Reisner, Eric Blake, Gayle Glumac, Dave Brown, Marlene Harris and Larry Brooks answering roll call. The council met in the City Hall police garage to conform to social distancing for coronavirus.


Council members also voted in support of the community development block grant program and accepted the report from Harris on bills and accounts payable, totaling $140,166 and $68,336 respectively.


In other business, the council accepted the resignations of Ray Watkins as Jasper County Animal Control Officer, which the city pays half of the salary for that position appointed by the county board, and David Dow as Zoning Board member as he prepares to move out of the city. Both men were thanked for their service to the community.


There were compliments on mowing work at Riverside and sidewalk work on North Van Buren. Concerns were raised about a lack of mowing on a lot along Eaton Street. There was a brief discussion on 5G Internet and fiber optic companies seeking to add their underground lines in Newton, and permit applications for that excavation work.


The council voted to go into closed session for discussion of litigation and sale of property. No action was taken after returning to open session.


The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 2 at City Hall, either in the council chambers or police garage.