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City Council affirms Gleason as City Manager; approves new universal yard waste service

 

 

Decatur, IL – Highlights from the April 1, 2024 Decatur City Council meeting include the official hiring of Tim Gleason as City Manager, and approval of a new universal yard waste service.

Decatur City Manager – Tim Gleason

On Monday night the Decatur City Council officially hired Tim Gleason as the next City Manager. Current City Manager Scot Wrighton is retiring in May 2024. Gleason previously served as Decatur City Manager for 3.5 years from 2015-2018. He left Decatur to take the City Manager job for the City of Bloomington, IL, and will return after nearly six years there.

Gleason’s salary is $230,000 annually. Other notable benefits include six weeks paid vacation, and a $650 monthly vehicle allowance that will be transferred to a deferred compensation retirement plan. Additionally, Gleason gets one year to establish permanent residency and $20,000 toward relocation expenses. Full details of the employment contract are included in the City Council packet.

Before his first stint in Decatur, Gleason held positions as the City Administrator for the City of Washington, IL, a Deputy Director of the IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and a law enforcement officer for the City of Pekin for 21 years.

Updates to yard waste service

Council also approved what they hope to be the final change to the yard waste program for Decatur residents. After previously trying out the “free market” – letting the garbage haulers choose what to charge for yard waste removal services – Council heard loud and clear an adjustment was needed. Following negotiations with the two large haulers, GFL and Waste Management (WM), City Manager Wrighton presented two options to Council: one creating a universal yard waste program where all residential customers would pay a common fee for unlimited collection, and another option where customers would need to subscribe to a “premium” yard waste program.

After a discussion of pros and cons, Council ultimately chose the universal program. The cost to add universal unlimited yard waste collection service is $3.25 per month. This means the price for basic waste removal service in Decatur will now be $26.75 per month for all residential customers. Customers now get unlimited yard waste removal from March 1 through December 15 each year, with one pickup in January and one pickup in February. This eliminates the need for six weeks of spring and fall yard waste pickups. Customers who have already paid for the “premium” yard waste program will have their accounts credited.

Council said they wanted to keep the cost of service lower so that more people can take advantage of the program and decrease illegal dumping. A few members said it makes things less confusing to have a universal service. With weather being so unpredictable, they felt all residents should have the ability to get rid of yard waste at any time.

Other business

In other business…Council approved a contract for asbestos abatement at the former YWCA building at 436 N Main Street. The building is vacant and has been in disrepair for decades. Inspections have revealed significant structural issues due to a lack of maintenance, and within the last few months bricks have fallen from the façade. This caused the City to temporarily close the sidewalk to protect pedestrians. Although the building is owned locally by individuals with means to take care of their own property, the owners have refused to do so. The City will pursue all legal remedies to get compensation for this taxpayer-funded clean up. The abatement will cost $249,000 and then the building will come back to Council for demolition consideration.

More information about these topics can be found in the City Council meeting packet, downloadable/viewable here: www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/

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