Take charge of your old batteries – here’s how to recycle them.

Take charge of your old batteries – here’s how to recycle them.

With so many wireless and cordless devices in the typical home, battery disposal is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. You have batteries in your laptop, your cell phone, your TV remote and some of the electrical appliances stored in your kitchen drawers.

But not all batteries are created equal.

Throwing your rechargeable batteries away when they’re “dead” could be unsafe. Not only do the chemicals in batteries pose a risk to the environment (if not properly handled), batteries can spark and cause fires or explosions at the waste processing facility or recycling center.

So how should you get rid of your old batteries?

Alkaline Batteries

Single-use batteries (alkaline) are fine to toss in the trash when they run out of juice. These are most often found in flashlights, kids toys, TV remotes and other devices that need to have their batteries replaced when they stop working. (I know, that sounds really obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think about it.)

Single-use batteries are now made of common metals deemed non-hazardous by the federal government and can be disposed of in your regular trash. Prior to 1996, single-use batteries contained mercury and were treated as hazardous waste.

One exception: Watch out … the small, button-shaped batteries found in watches should NEVER be thrown away. They are considered to be hazardous and should be disposed of like a rechargeable battery.

Rechargeable Batteries

One way to cut down on the number of disposable batteries you send to the landfill each year is to buy and use rechargeable batteries, instead. These can be re-used up to 1,000 times before they wear out. But beware, rechargeable batteries pose their own risks and need to be handled differently when it comes time to dispose of them.

In fact, rechargeable batteries are the leading cause of fires at recycling centers and landfills because they are usually not prepared for the process and, instead, just buried in trash or piles of recyclables where they can accidentally spark. Lithium batteries – like those found in flashlights, rechargeable household appliances, computers, etc. – are often the culprits.

Small, sealed lead acid batteries, like those found in battery-powered scooters, remote control cars, etc. contain hazardous chemicals that can harm pets and contaminate land and waterways.

Recycling Batteries

Prepping single-use batteries for recycling:

  • Place a piece of non-conductive clear tape over the ends to prevent any current transfer. You can also bag each battery individually instead of taping the ends.
  • Seal batteries in a plastic bag that doesn’t conduct electricity in case there is a spark.
  • Drop the batteries off at a collection site.

Prepping rechargeable batteries for recycling:

  • Remove batteries from their electronics if possible. (This is not required for small electronics like cellphones or iPods, which can be accepted by the e-waste facility at the Waste Commission’s facility in Davenport.)
  • Cover the terminals with non-conductive tape clear tape.
  • Seal batteries in a plastic bag that doesn’t conduct electricity in case there is a spark.
  • Drop the batteries off at a collection site (preferably the e-waste facility).

The Waste Commission of Scott County has created a simple-to-follow guide to help make it easy for you. Just click on the image to the right and either download it or print it out and save the information in an easy-to-reach place.

Republic Services produces a waste guide for Riverdale residents

Republic Services produces a waste guide for Riverdale residents

Not sure you remember exactly whether the recycling bin needs to be wheeled to the curb this week? Can’t remember when bulky waste pick-up day is? Afraid you’re too late to leave yard waste at the curb for clean up?

Thanks to the City of Riverdale’s waste/recycling service provider, Republic Services, that won’t be a problem any more. They’ve provided a handy guide that will be mailed out to residents over the next week to help remind us what goes in the bin, on the curb and to the street – when it comes to trash and recycling.

You can also download a copy of that guide by clicking here (the guide will open in a new window).

Riverdale to be among the first to receive fiber optic service

Riverdale to be among the first to receive fiber optic service

In a call Thursday evening with MetroNet, Mayor Mike Bawden was informed that Riverdale’s neighborhoods would be among the first in the Quad Cities to receive broadband, fiber optic service from the company when that service goes live in early March.

According to the Metronet representative for Riverdale, Theresa Lemek, the company will be turning it’s service on around March 6th, following two other neighborhoods in Bettendorf that are scheduled to have their service started the week before.

Ms. Lemek explained residents could contact her to select a service package and set an installation date. Her phone number is: 319-631-0841, or you can use the form at the bottom of this page which will automatically contact her via email.

Ms. Lemek will also attend the next Mayor’s Town Hall meeting which is scheduled to take place at 2pm on Sunday, February 23rd in the Community Room at City Hall.

Priced Competitively

According to Ms. Lemek, the prices for internet access, home phone service and cable / TV service from Metronet is priced competitively with other carriers like Mediacom. There are also special offers for pre-launch sign-ups ( not available online) and accepting paperless billing / autopay as well as contract buyout options, etc.

Internet access costs about the same as Mediacom (around $60-$65 / month) but speeds are symmetrical (upload and download speeds are the same), speeds are guaranteed and there are no data limits. Home phone service over the fiber is relatively inexpensive (around $10 / month) but is free for two years to new customers who either purchase internet or TV services with it, excluding taxes and fees. Cable / TV service is about the same cost as what is currently offered in the market by Mediacom but offers a few bonuses – whole home DVR service, fast- flip technology and stunningly sharp picture only available through fiber. Metronet also does not require bundling to receive discounts and provides all services with no contract.

To take advantage of all the possible discounts, residents need to contact Ms. Lemek and walk through the various options. She can also work with residents to schedule installation at a convenient time and date.

Contact MetroNet and Review Your Options

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 2

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 2

MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they are preparing a proposal to evaluate televise the sanitary sewer that flows through the woods behind Scott Community College and the Sanitary Sewer that flows parallel to the Fieldcrest Drainage Way. The City of Bettendorf does not have off-road capabilities to televise the sanitary sewer, therefore MSA is seeking companies that have an ATV component in their televising capabilities.

MSA has walked the entire path of both the aforementioned sections of sanitary sewers. In addition to televising, MSA is seeking a price to clear a path along the Fieldcrest Drainage Way sanitary sewer.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

MSA Professional Services will oversee the mapping and televising of approximately 1/3 of the City of Riverdale’s sanitary sewer lines and then provide a recommendation as to what kinds of repairs need to be made to those lines to eliminate inflow and infiltration (I&I) and create additional capacity in the sewer facility jointly owned with Davenport, Bettendorf and Panorama Park.

Budget:

TBD

Public Hearing Date

TBD

Project Bid Date:

TBD

Project Start Date:

June – July, 2020

Project Completion Date:

August, 2020

 

 

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Parks planning process kicks off with appeal to residents for participation

Parks planning process kicks off with appeal to residents for participation

Do you want to see improvements to Riverdale’s parks and trails? Do you have some great thoughts and ideas?

You are in luck because the City is at the very beginning stage of developing a Parks and Trail System Needs Assessment for Riverdale and we need your help!  We are looking for your input to help create a great guidebook for improving our community’s parks and trails.

This spring, the City will be releasing a Park System Survey and holding a Community Workshop focused on recreation and we need your input for both activities!

The creation of our Parks and Trail System Needs Assessment will be guided by a Steering Committee. If you’re passionate about improving Riverdale’s parks and trails, we need you to join the committee. 

The time commitment is not huge and you will not be required to write the plan.  The City has teamed with MSA Professional Services to assist in the creation of the plan; we just need a committee to help guide the plan’s development.  We anticipate the committee will meet 3 times for about an hour each over the next several months and much of the document review can be done at your convenience.  

Serving on this committee will an efficient use of your time to help improve your community! Please contact Council Member Anthony Heddlesten at anthonyheddlesten@outlook.com if you are passionate about Riverdale’s park and would like to serve on the committee.

Please look for more information on the survey and workshop in the coming months!

Snow advisory for Riverdale

Snow advisory for Riverdale

All residents of Riverdale are advised that a heavy snowfall is expected this weekend and to take appropriate action to allow road cleaning and maintenance crews full access to the City’s streets and other public infrastructure.

Winter Storm Warning issued for Scott County

According to the National Weather Service, a Winter Storm Warning is in effect from 6pm this evening (January 10) through midnight tomorrow (January 11). Heavy snow and mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 3 – 7″ are expected along with ice accumulations of up to a quarter inch.

Wind gusts on Saturday could reach 35 mph.

Travel is expected to be difficult and due to the ice and wind, tree and power line damage may occur. If you must travel, please be sure to bring an extra flashlight and food/water in case you get stranded in your car. If you’re traveling in Iowa, you can dial 5-1-1 for road conditions.

Winter storm preparations at home

For Riverdale residents, we ask you make sure your car is out of the street and parked in your driveway, if at all possible. This will allow road clearing crews to move as much of the snow off the streets on their first pass as possible. 

Snow removal services are contracted with the City of Bettendorf. If you’re curious as to how the plow crews are called out, what gets plowed first and tips on how to make sure the service you receive is as good as possible, check out this article we published last September that spelled all of that out.

Following our first snow events this year, we also learned a few other important lessons – so please keep this information in mind as you prepare for this weekend’s weather:

There are some things Riverdale residents can do to make sure the Bettendorf DPW plows are able to do a good job for the City. Among those:

1. If the snow is falling on a Sunday night, make sure your garbage and recycling bins are away from the curb so there’s room to push the snow. The November 11th plow was particularly difficult because not only were there waste and recycling bins up to the curb, many residents had spent time over the weekend bagging leaves. Plow drivers (many of whom were new to the job) were wary of plowing too close to the curb for fear of hitting a rolling bin (which did happen, twice) or some bags of leaves and creating a bigger mess in the street.

2. If you know snow is coming, please put your car in your driveway. Leaving your car parked in the street makes the driver swerve away from the curb to get around your vehicle and leaves a lot of unplowed snow in the street which can freeze and make it all that more difficult to get the street clean later on in the day.

Driveway Snow Removal Tips

3. If possible, create a “landing zone” for snow pushed by the plow in advance of it getting to your driveway (see the diagram to the right). By doing this, you’ll minimize the amount of snow pushed onto the end of your driveway and make getting out and onto Riverdale’s freshly-plowed streets easier.

4. When you’re shoveling or snow-blowing your driveway, make sure you go side-to-side and avoid  pushing your driveway snow into the street. This will help decrease the amount of time DPW’s crews need to work clearing our streets (and save us money in the process) and improves safety for other vehicles by reducing the chance of random ice-spots developing on our main roads.

Winter Storm Preparation Tips

Finally, from our friends at The Weather Channel, we pulled these 14 tips on how to prepare for a winter storm. And while some of the tips may be a little much for a 3-7″ storm (do we really need a hand-cranked, NOAA Weather Radio?), it’s always good to give a list like this a quick review to make sure nothing has slipped your mind.

One tip that’s good to keep in mind, though, is to make sure that if you have water pipes that might be exposed to ultra-cold temperatures for an extended period of time, that they’re either drained of water or are set to drip/trickle water to help prevent freezing.

Stay warm and safe this weekend!

City Landscaping RFP (2020-2023)

City Landscaping RFP (2020-2023)

The Riverdale City Council authorized staff to proceed with requesting proposals for landscaping services on City-owned grounds and green spaces. Proposals will be for a three-year period (2020 through 23) and will provide a number of service levels for consideration.

A copy of the RFP (Request for Proposal), which was developed by Council Member Kelly Krell and reviewed by members of the Council prior to its acceptance, can be found by clicking here. A package of PowerPoint slides showing photos and notes for each of the areas requiring landscaping services can be reviewed by clicking here.

Each proposal submitted by a prospective contractor will be divided into four tiers, with each tier reflecting the services required in a specific area/areas of the City of Riverdale. Services required in the future Woods Estates of Riverdale subdivision were not included in the RFP.

The City has requested that all bids cover a three-year timespan and break out costs on a year-by-year basis for budgeting purposes.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The City is seeking the services of a landscape maintenance company to recover and maintain landscaping on all City-maintained properties for an initial period of three seasons. It is expected that the landscaping will be addressed by the selected vendor at least once every two weeks for the time period from spring to fall each year, or approximately April through September, dependent upon the weather and weather forecasts.

Budget:

TBD

Project Bid Date:

Bids due by January 30, 2020
Council awards bid on February 25, 2020

Project Start Date:

Spring 2020

Project Completion Date:

Fall 2023

 

 

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Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 1

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project – Phase 1

MSA Professional Services, the City’s engineering consultant, advised that they submitted a “Notice of Intent” to award this project to Visu-Sewer with teh reqeust they enter into a good faith dialogue to discuss methods to reduce inflow into the sanitary sewer that runs along the west side of Bellingham Roadway.

Ideas being discussed include lining the sanitary sewer as well as putting a cap on the number of hours the excavator utilizes to look for santiary laterals.

The City Council approved the low bid on this project of $160,921.50 from Visu-Sewer, Inc. The approved bid is nearly $50,000 more than the estimated price – primarily due to estimated costs for exploratory investigation of sanitary sewer lateral lines off of Bellingham Road. 

MSA recommended approving the bid and then continuing to negotiate alternative methods of investigating/dealing with the sewer lines off of Bellingham Road that, if approved, will reduce the total project price to bring it more in line with the initial project estimate.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that the bid opening for this project occured on January 21 at 2pm (as scheduled), but the low bid was significantly higher than MSA’s budgeted construction costs of $116,800.

The reason for the cost variance was related to the exploratory excavation for sanitary laterals located near Bellingham Road. MSA advised the Council that the firm would continue exploring ways to proceed with an award and simultaneously lower the project cost without committing any bidding violations.

As things currently stand, the work is still expected to take place this summer.

According to MSA Professional Services, the project has been advertised for bid. The public hearing is scheduled for January 14 at 7pm. A non-mandatory, pre-bid meeting has been held. 

The bid opening is scheduled for January 21, 2020 at 1:30 pm. MSA’s opinion of the probable cost of construction on thisp roject is $116,800.

The Riverdale City Council approved the preparation of plans and specs for bids in the coming months. The process will be overseen by MSA Professional Services as part of their contract with the City.

A copy of the resolution authorizing MSA to seek bids on the project can be found here.

This project is estimated to cost the City of Riverdale $116,800 and should be completed during the summer of 2020. Sanitary sewer work will be performed in the Havens Acres neighborhood and on Fenno and Valley Drives.

At a meeting held earlier in the day, MSA discussed the following items on this project with the City:

•    Plans, specifications and an engineer’s opinion of the probably construction cost have been submitted to the City for approval. The Iowa DNR has issued a permit for the project. A GP#2 permit is not required.

•    The City needs to schedule a public hearing for this project.

•    MSA recommends a winter 2020 bid letting.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they have obtained the project permit from Iowa DNR and now seeks bidding guidance from the City on this project.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they are currently working on a timeline for bidding this project with Administrator Tim Long.

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they have applied for a project permit from the Iowa DNR so work can begin this spring. The project is currently in the cue for bidding in January of 2020.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The sub-contractor will be expected to supply all labor, equipment and materials to seal and rehabilitate identified sanitary I&I points in the southern part of Riverdale.

Budget:

$160,921.50 (may be revised downward)

Public Hearing Date

Completed

Project Bid Date:

Completed

Project Start Date:

June, 2020

Project Completion Date:

August, 2020

 

 

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Percent Complete

Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project

Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project

MSA Professional services reported to the City Council that the “Notice of Project Award” has been submitted to Brandt Construction. MSA will be submitting a professional services agreement to Administrator Kotter for review and consideration by the City Council at a future meeting.

MSA Professional services reported to the City Council that bids on this project were opened on January 21st at 1:30 pm. A low bid of $223,881 was submitted by Brandt Construction of Milan, IL. MSA’s recommendation to the City is to accept the proposal.

MSA also reported that they are working on a professional services agreement to submit to the City for project management services.

MSA Professional services reported to the City Council that this project has been advertised for bid. The public hearing is scheduled for January 14 at 7pm. A non-mandatory, pre-bid meeting has been held.

The bid opening is scheduled for January 21, 2020 at 1:30 pm.

MSA’s estimated cost for this project is $233,900.

The City will meet with MSA to discuss this project further and discuss what construction engineering services are needed.

The Riverdale City Council authorizes MSA Professional Services to begin the bid preparation process for the Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project. A copy of the resolution can be found here.

According to paperwork provided by MSA, the budget for the project is $228,200 and should be completed during the summer of 2020.  

Construction schedules and traffic concerns for the Havens Acres neighborhood will be discussed with residents at an upcoming neighborhood meeting in January.

The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, met with city officials earlier in the day (12/10) to discuss this project in more detail:

•    MSA reported that plans, specifications, and an engineer’s opinion of the probable construction costs have been submitted to the City for approval. The Iowa DOT has issued a permit for the project. A GP#2 is not required.

•    The City needs to schedule a public hearing for the project.

•    MSA recommends a winter 2020 bid letting.

•    The following key dates were established:

•    Public Hearing: January 14
•    Bid Opening: January 21 (at City Hall)
•    MSA Recommendation: January 23
•    Council to Award Contract: January 28
•    Start of Construction: on or before June 8 (preference is given to beginning on June 9 in case there are questions)

•    MSA estimates 6 to 8 weeks to complete construction. Substantial completion prior to start of school.

•    MSA will submit questions for answers required to complete bidding documents.

•    It was not discussed at the meeting, but MSA suggests consideration be given to beginning driveway work before school is out. 

The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, updated the City Council that plans were 95% complete and ready for the bidding process which is expected to take place in January of 2020. Work should commence on this project later on that calendar year.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The sub-contractor will be expected to supply all labor, equipment and materials to rehabilitate roadways on Wisteria and Kensington Street.

Budget:

$223,881

Public Hearing Date:

Completed

Project Bid Date:

Completed

Project Start Date:

On or after June 8, 2020

Project Completion Date:

6 to 8 weeks after start of construction (late-July/early-August)

 

 

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Percent Complete

Tree removal, clean-up and on-going care scheduled for parks

Tree removal, clean-up and on-going care scheduled for parks

At its final meeting of the year, the Riverdale City Council voted to approve a significant amount of tree-removal, trimming and treatment in both Bicentennial Park and Peggy’s Park for the coming year. The combined cost of the services to be provided by Davey Tree Expert Company is $9,450.

The services to be provided include:

Peggy’s Park:
    • Removal of the Walnut tree on the east side of the property near the street.
    • Removal of the large, Green Ash tree on the east side of the property near the street.
    • Removal of the declining Silver Maple just west of the yellow, plastic jungle gym.
    • Removal of the Silver Maple tree just west of the metal playground equipment.
    • Grind out remaining stumps from tree removal.
    • Haul away excess wood and grindings.
    • Prune trees in park – raise/elevate limbs to promote upward growth and improve canopies.
    • Remove leaning Boxelder Maple near existing Spruce trees.
    • Crown clean remaining trees.

 

Bicentennial Park:
    • Prune large red oak on east property line.
    • Remove Tuliptree and Maple in the middle of the playground area.
    • Remove the Cherry tree on the west property line.
    • Remove the Black Cherry on the west property line.
    • Grind out remaining stumps from tree removal.

A copy of the resolution with a detailed breakdown of the services to be provided can be found here.

City Council agrees to sell street sweeper – will contract service

City Council agrees to sell street sweeper – will contract service

The Riverdale City Council approved the sale of this 2001 Sterling Johnson Street Sweeper

At its last regular meeting of 2019, the Riverdale City Council agreed to sell the City’s street sweeper. Although a formal agreement has not yet been signed between the Cities of Bettendorf and Riverdale to fix a price for quarterly sweeping and related services, the cost benefit study conducted by the City of Riverdale this past summer showed a considerable savings to the community through a partnership with Bettendorf.

“The City of Riverdale will not sell the sweeper until the City Council has had an opportunity to review, discuss and adopt an agreement with the City of Bettendorf for sweeping services,” explained Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter. “But the resolution passed on Tuesday allows the City’s staff to begin the process of putting our old sweeper on the market.”

A specific use of funds generated by the sale of the sweeper has not been determined. It’s likely the funds will just flow back into the City’s Capital Fund for use on one or more other projects on the City Council’s 2020 list of goals and objectives.

A copy of the resolution authorizing the sale of the equipment can be found here.

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Don’t forget – Monday is the last day yard waste will be picked up this fall!

Just a reminder to Riverdale residents – Monday morning is the last yard waste pick-up of the year, so get your leaves and other yard waste to the curb Sunday night for an early Monday morning pick-up.

For those of you who just can’t get to the rake this weekend, take note that there are some “experts” out there who claim raking the leaves in your yard is bad for the environment. In fact, naturalists at the National WIldlife Foundation suggest you skip the whole raking-leaves-thing forever.

Alternatives to raking leaves

So, what should you do with the leaves that fall into your yard if you’re not going to bag them up and ship them off to the nearest compost facility? Here are a few suggestions …

  • Let leaves stay where they fall. They won’t hurt your lawn if you chop them with a mulching mower.
  • Rake leaves off the lawn to use as mulch in garden beds. For finer-textured mulch, shred them first.
  • Let leaf piles decompose. The resulting leaf mold can be used as a soil amendment to improve structure and water retention.
  • Combine fallen leaves (“brown material”) with grass clippings and other “green material” and keep moist and well mixed. You’ll have nutrient-rich compost to add to your garden next spring.
  • Still too many leaves? Share them with neighbors, friends, schools and others. Some communities will pick up leaves and make compost to sell or give away.
  • Build a brush shelter. Along with branches, sticks and stems, leaves can be used to make brush piles that shelter native wildlife.

Do these suggestions still sound like too much work? Well, some experts suggest mulching leaves into your lawn instead of raking them may actually make your grass healthier.

Either way, with temps in the 50s tomorrow, it might be your last chance to get some good outdoor time in before the snow flies. Enjoy the weekend!