How is everyone doing with the new trash plan? Change is not always easy so please remember, this is the way of current garbage and recycling and doing our best to help the environment.

Things to remember: The garbage toter should contain your BAGGED trash and the recycling toter should contain your LOOSE recycling items — no bags. Get to know the rules of recycling. Putting the wrong things in the recycle bin results in all the items needing to be thrown away. Be sure they are free from food so no “empty” pizza boxes. Leave bottle caps ON empty bottles. Acceptable items are clean aluminum, tin and metal cans, plastic bottles and containers with #1 & #2 written on the bottom, glass bottles and jars, clean cardboard just as soup, juice, broth and milk, file folders, office paper and envelopes, junk mail and magazines, flattened cardboard & paperboard like cereal, tissue and food boxes, newspapers, catalogs and paper bags. Every little bit helps when we all do our part. And please remember to remove your toters from the curb the same day that they are picked up. No one likes to see a neighborhood peppered with empty toters.

Over the next few months, I will be talking a little bit here and there about the 2020 Census and the vital importance it has to our community to be true and accurate. So let’s start with, “What is the decennial census?” Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs such as impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy.

They also are used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Next week, “Why is that important to you and I?”

Tuesday night at the council meeting we had the pleasure of recognizing many employees: Department Head of the Year, Curt Suttman IT director, Employee of the Year, Michelle Richter, Deputy Finance director, Firefighter of the Year was Brian Book, Public Works Employee of the Year was Scott Curran, Police Department Civilian of the Year went to June Dilman and Robyn Stovall was Officer of the Year, Library Employee of the Year went to Amanda Meyers and Dianne Ludwig. These individuals are true team players, dedicated to leading by example and display the utmost in professionalism and efficiency. We are proud to have each one on our team in moving Freeport forward.

Last fall, I wrote about an upcoming project called Nicor Gas Meter Modernization. Nicor is making investments in modernizing and improving our natural gas infrastructure. They will be installing small, two-way communication devices on existing meters throughout Freeport – meters will not be replaced. These devices feature state of the art technology to ensure timely and accurate billing and help to eliminate estimated bills.

This will also allow customers to gain greater insight into energy usage and help them to manage their costs. Grid One Solutions, Nicor’s qualified contractor, is now in our area working on the Meter Modernization Project. Of course, it will be weather dependent and installation should take about 10-15 minutes for most residents. If your meter can be safely accessed, you do not need to be present. If your meter is indoors, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment with a technician that will have appropriate identification.

And a quick reminder, when it’s snowing, please try to get vehicles off the street if possible, for better plowing. If that is not possible for you, remember parking on odd side on odd days and even side on even days. And ice and snow removal of sidewalks is within 12 hours of the event cessation. Safety is important for those that walk, especially our children walking to the bus stops.

Cardboard Cat Scratcher Board

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