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Watch now: Normal council approves contract with Midwest Fiber Recycling

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Uptown Station/Normal City Hall building mug

Uptown Station is at 11 Uptown Circle, Normal.

NORMAL — After several months of delays, Normal reached a contract with Midwest Fiber Recycling to continue operating its drop box recycling program.

The town council narrowly approved the new agreement in a 4-3 vote Monday night. Councilmembers Kathleen Lorenz, Scott Preston and Stan Nord voted against approving the contract.

Normal has extended a previous agreement with Midwest Fiber twice this year to allow staff time to draft an intergovernmental agreement with Bloomington and McLean County to share costs for the operation.

City Manager Pam Reece said the town is still pursing that intergovernmental agreement and expects both Bloomington and the county to vote on it within the month.

During the meeting there were several discussions centered on whether the town should approve the contract prior to reaching an intergovernmental agreement.

Councilwoman Karyn Smith said, "I see no reason to not have a similar good faith that our partners in Bloomington and the county will not step up to the plate and proceed with this." 

She added that she would prefer the town have reached an intergovernmental agreement with Bloomington and the county prior to approving the contract.

But, "As far as timing goes, I'd rather not have the citizens go though an interruption of services," she said.

Councilmen Stan Nord and Kathleen Lorenz both stated they would prefer the town to reach an intergovernmental agreement prior to approving the contract.

"I am concerned that we don't have the IGA inked out tonight as we consider this new agreement," said Councilwoman Kathleen Lorenz. "I think it seems like a fair agreement that has been struck between us and Midwest Fiber, I just would really like to see the IGA."

Normal may terminate the contract with Midwest Fiber at any time if the intergovernmental agreement is not approved, or for any reason in 2022 with a penalty of $15,000, or in 2023 for $7,500.

The contract would be terminated at any time if the company breaches the contract or discontinues accepting materials based on market conditions.

The new three-year contract between the town and Midwest Fiber, estimated to cost $195,000 per year, would not change upon reaching an intergovernmental agreement.

Reece said the intergovernmental agreement would determine cost contribution between the town, Bloomington, and McLean County.

Four drop sites throughout Bloomington and Normal with collection containers for paper, cardboard and mixed containers are included in the new program.

The program's base collection fee is $12,880 per month.

Midwest Fiber will maintain all equipment for the program and will transport recyclable material to its Material Recover Facility, 422 South White Oak Road, Normal. Processing fees for each material type are: mixed paper, $25 per ton; cardboard, $42.50 per ton; and mixed containers, $200 per ton.

Phoenix Industrial Subdivision

Council members clashed over a decision to approve the final plat of a roughly 65 acre industrial park in north Normal.

The council conditionally approved by a 6-1 vote the final plat of the Phoenix Industrial Subdivision in the former Wildwood Industries property following a heated discussion. Councilman Stan Nord was the only no vote.

"What we have here is a success story of economic development," Councilman Kevin McCarthy said Monday. "I think its fantastic to get outside investors coming into our community and invest millions of dollars in economic development."

The submitted plat from Phoenix Investors, LLC, which recently purchased the land, is nearly identical to the former Wildwood Industries Subdivision on the southeast corner of North Main Street and Kerrick Road.

Normal approved the Wildwood subdivision in 2008, but the final plat was never recorded and the then-owner did not pay the required development fees nor filed the required certificates.

A 500,00-square-foot warehouse and distribution building was partially built, but abandoned before the firm purchased the property.

As part of the conditional approval, Phoenix Investors must file all required certificate and payment fees pertaining to the plat. Phoenix Investors is a national commercial real estate firm based in Milwaukee that focuses on revitalizing industrial properties throughout the United States.

Phoenix Investors proposed the project in June. It will include a nearly $16 million investment to renovate and lease the existing facility for warehouse and distribution purposes. Once completed, Phoenix Investors said the project is expected to create 50 jobs.

A look back: Iconic symbols of Bloomington-Normal

Contact Sierra Henry at 309-820-3234. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_sierrahenry.


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