The Spring Valley City Council, meeting Oct. 8, approved renewing the city's contract with Waste Management as its garbage service provider.

Commercial businesses will be included under the new three-year contract with Waste Management, which wasn't the case with previous contracts. Prices for commercial will be as described by the city in a recent advertisement that compared rates between two bids the city received.

Troy Lange addressed the council, stating his support of considering Sunshine Sanitation of Stewartville as the city's provider. "I think we should get away from Waste Management and give the 'little guy' a try." He said one of the benefits of Sunshine would be that the company is smaller and local compared to Waste Management.

His brother, Wayne Lange, agreed, noting that the city should give Sunshine Sanitation "a shot."

Mayor Jim Struzyk said a decision would need to be made that night because the current contract end-date with Waste Management is Nov. 1. Struzyk said city hall had received three calls in support of Sunshine as a provider and seven calls in support of Waste Management. Personally, he said he received one call in support of Sunshine and five in support of Waste Management.

Council member Bill Bires shared that he had heard positive input for Waste Management.

Representatives with Sunshine Sanitation and Waste Management attended the council meeting. Tory Keefe of Sunshine said that he is locally owned and operated and felt he has the best service there is to offer Sunshine. He said the majority for Waste Management seems to be residential people, not commercial, because that's a different contract.

Gary Heinzig with Waste Management has a location in Rochester. He said under the new contract, commercial would have set prices. City Administrator Deb Zimmer noted that commercial customers did want "a uniform price."

Resident Tom Meyerhoff suggested that the city "get out now and try something new" because it has "nothing to lose."

"With Waste Management we are just a number. I think we are better off going with a local guy," he said.

After discussion on the topic, council members noted it was a tough decision. Council members said after speaking with residents, the majority of them said they are happy with the service they have received with Waste Management.

Council member Todd Jones said he has "heard both sides" and it is "a tough call."

"Part of me says try Sunshine and if we aren't happy we can get out (of the contract)," he said.

Council member Bill Bires said the council is "between a rock and a hard place."

Bires then added, "following the recommendation of the people," that he will make a motion to go with Waste Management.

Councilor Tony Archer added, "That's my situation too. I am here to represent the people and people I heard from are happy with the service."

The motion passed with council members Tony Archer, Bill Bires and Jim Struzyk in favor and council member Todd Jones opposed. Council member Jeff Vehrenkamp was not present at the meeting.

Other business

• The council approved South Broadway project pay estimate No. 4. The estimate is for $249,532.53 to Elcor Construction for work completed on the project.

• Four new firefighters for the Spring Valley Fire Department were approved, pending physicals are passed. Joining the department will be Nick Atwood, Brad Musel, Dennis Yoder and Robert Vogen.

• The council approved purchase of four Motorola portable radios for the ambulance service. Zimmer said this is for the conversion to narrow bandable. The total cost is $3,100. Zimmer said this purchase and the purchase of the radios for the fire department will be on hold until the status of grant funds are known.

• The first council meeting in the month of November, due to Veteran's Day, was rescheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 14.