With contract expiring, city to seek options for garbage service

New deal might include additions like weekly recycling


Clint Riese
News Editor

Even when it comes to hauling garbage, there’s competition for business. The Forest Lake City Council is hoping to take advantage of that fact by sending out a request for proposals for residential solid waste and recycling services.

The city’s contract with Forest Lake Sanitation/SRC Transfer Station and Recycle Center for those services dates to 1999. City Administrator Aaron Parrish said at Monday’s council meeting that it is important to introduce a competitive element to the process when the agreement expires at the end of July.

“What we’re doing is using this as an opportunity to get pricing, to evaluate the scope of services that are being provided, and again, not a reflection of any dissatisfaction with our current vendor,” he said.

The council agreed it is smart to shop around, unanimously approving Parrish’s recommendation.

Besides getting prices for comparable services, the city asked bidders to include costs for several options currently unavailable to Forest Lake residents. These possibilities include weekly recycling service (SRC currently provides biweekly service). Other add-ons may include yard waste and organics collection.

Residents currently have the option of 65- or 105-gallon garbage containers. The city is asking bidders for prices on 30-, 60- and 90-gallon containers.

A committee of Parrish, Council Members Susan Young and Ben Winnick, and Finance Director Ellen Paulseth will review the proposals and bring a recommendation before the council.

Clerk Opening

The city is searching for a deputy clerk following the resignation of Chantal Doriott, who left for the city clerk position with the city of West St. Paul.

The council approved Parrish’s recommendation to enter into a joint powers agreement with Washington County for election services through 2015. These duties had been the deputy clerk’s.

The city’s election costs will rise under the agreement, but revising the deputy clerk’s duties will allow the city to reclassify the position at a lower wage range. Combined, the changes could net the city about $5,000 in each year of the agreement.

DNR Lawsuit

The council declined to have the city agree to joint legal representation regarding a lawsuit by homeowners on White Bear Lake who contend that the Department of Natural Resources has failed to properly manage groundwater resources and that the utilization of the Prairie Du Chien/Jordan Aquifer has caused White Bear Lake’s level to decrease.

The DNR approached cities using groundwater about intervening in the litigation. However, Forest Lake does not pump from the aquifer in question.


The council approved Mayor Chris Johnson’s appointment of Tim Schingen and Chris Soderlind to the Park Board, replacing Paulette Smith and Matt Lindholm, whose terms expired Dec. 31. Judy Huntosh was re-appointed to the Economic Development Authority and Ken Urquardt was re-appointed to the Civil Service Commission.

Council appointments remain the same in 2014, except Molly Bonnett will replace Mike Freer as the liaison to Forest Lake Area Schools, and Susan Young will replace Freer as liaison to the Airport Commission.

  • FLRanger

    Hey, maybe we can add garbage hauling duties to our city employees. Heck, they are already doing inspections, firefighting, clerical, street maintenance etc..