Working through a busy city council agenda Tuesday night, commissioners approved a trash pickup program and a resolution to search out another electric aggregation agreement, one that would find the lowest electric rate possible for residents of the city.
The litter abatement program, called “Pick it up, Effingham!”, gives people from the community the ability to adopt a specific roadway in the city of Effingham that has been previously identified as an area of concern.
According to City Administrator James Arndt, four different groups of people have already expressed interest in adopting a roadway. Arndt said the city is trying to make the program as accessible as possible by erecting two signs on behalf of the volunteer groups on the adopted roadway, along with providing trash bags, safety gloves, reflective vests and Men at Work signage.
The program is kicking off in September. The groups must pick up along their roadway four times a year.
In other news, the council approved a resolution to find the lowest bidder to supply electricity for residential and small commercial retail customers.
The city has joined an aggregation of 107 other communities to find the cheapest possible rate for electricity. Good Energy will solicit bids on behalf of the city. The city then has the ability to approve that rate if it comes in lower than its current rate, or not use the rate, Arndt said.
The search for another electric aggregate comes after the city entered into a 17-month agreement with Homefield Energy in December 2012, which locked in a rate of .03909 cents per kilowatt hour to supply energy.
The rate saved customers in the city 30.6 percent on the supply portion of their energy bills over Ameren's current rate.
Arndt said with the market near historic lows, he hopes the program will bring even lower rates for the city. If that doesn't happen, the city will try and secure its current rate, he added.
The current contract with Homefield Energy ends in June 2014.
In other action, the council:
• Approved rehiring City Administrator James Arndt to the same position for a three-year period when his contract expires in November.
• Approved a resolution authorizing a preliminary engineering agreement for replacement of a waterline in conjunction with the IDOT Interstate 57/70 reconstruction project. The cost is $15,000 and will be paid from the Water Department Fund.
• Approved a resolution to grant permission for a street closure on N. Fourth St. from Washington Ave., south to Jefferson Ave. and public parking lot closures for the Effingham County Old Settlers Reunion on Sept. 28.
• Approved a liquor license for Taqueria Don Pedro. The restaurant held a liquor license in 2012, but opted out of a license at the beginning of 2013. The approval gives them the ability to serve liquor again.