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WEST LIBERTY — Planning is underway for partial demolition of a dilapidated city-owned building in downtown West Liberty. The City Council Tuesday night authorized City Engineer Leo Foley to seek bids for demolishing the west side of the structure at 115 E. Third St.

The plan outlined by Foley includes putting the project out for bids August 16, receiving bids August 29, awarding of contract Sept. 3, and completion by Oct. 31.

"I think you're safe to go ahead and get competitive quotes," Foley told the council. "You have to get a contractor who is trained in handling asbestos. You can't get just any old contractor."

But Foley cautioned the council to be prepared to pay more than the estimated $60,000, possibly more like $80,000. "I know once they see it, those estimates are going to skyrocket," he said.

Foley said the next step after the partial demolition will be to determine use for the rest of the structure, possibly as a new home for city hall.

Recycling report

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A progress report of West Liberty's recycling program recommends continuing with the program in spite of the bottom falling out of the market for recycled materials.

The report, included in Tuesday night's council consent agenda, says the goal of collecting at least 200 tons of recycling per year has been surpassed. Between July 2018 and June 2019, 315 tons were collected. In the previous year, prior to curbside recycling, the collection was only about 208.9 tons.

But the program is not receiving any revenue due to the downturn in the recycling market. Fortunately for West Liberty, the Waste Commission of Scott County, where the recycling material is delivered, is not charging the city any tipping fees or penalties. A monthly fee of $3.50 per customer is helping the city to offset expenses.

West Liberty had considered becoming a regional collection center for recycling, but the decreasing value of recycled materials has negated that possibility. The report also says the problems encountered in West Liberty are common to many communities.

In other business:

  • The council approved payment of claims totaling $418,464.
  • The council approved the first reading of an ordinance expanding voting precinct 1 to include 18.26 acres annexed into the city.
  • The council approved a request from the West Liberty Football Cheer Team to hold a car wash Aug. 10 on Rainbow Drive between Casey's and Midwest One Bank.
  • The council approved a request from West Liberty Foods to hold an employee picnic Aug. 25 in Kimberly Park.
  • The council approved a request from St. Joseph Catholic Church to hold a Family Festival Sept. 1 on designated city streets.
  • The council approved a request from Latinos Unidos of West Liberty to hold Festa Latina 2019 Sept. 14 on designated city streets.

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