The city council in Waterloo, Wis., voted to hire Peachy Clean Commercial and Construction Cleaning to service multiple government buildings. The approval, which came after an earlier, inconclusive vote, means the city will not renew its contract with D&D Cleaning.
Sturgis Public Schools in Michigan's St. Joseph County contracts with Enviro-Clean for its custodial services, saving at least $200,000 annually by outsourcing. In Three Rivers Community Schools, some buildings are handled by district employees and some are cleaned by Grand Rapids Building Services.
Durham Public Schools in North Carolina has outsourced some jobs for more than a decade and is revisiting that model. The district is contracting more custodians employed by Service Solutions or its subcontractor, Premiere.
A two-year municipal employee hiring freeze in Oklahoma City has been lifted on reports of increased sales tax revenue for the seventh consecutive month. Voters in the city recently approved a sales tax increase to hire more police and firefighters.
Sewage flooding in basements has happened periodically in one Cedar Rapids, Iowa, neighborhood where sewer cross connections that violate city code are common. Now the city is addressing the problem with the laborious task of disconnecting cross connections between sump pumps and gutters and the underground sewer system in hundreds of homes.
Toxic algae is now a severe and growing problem ranging across the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes and out to California's Central Valley. The deadly blooms are triggered by rising concentrations of agricultural fertilizers, as well as the warmth of changing weather patterns, with voluntary efforts to curb the contributing pollutants so far proving inadequate.
A new declaration by the Federal Emergency Management Agency should save Alabama's Dauphin Island most of the $5.5 million repair estimate for recovery from Hurricane Nate. The effort includes removing 400,000 cubic yards of sand now piled along a boulevard, sifting it and restoring it to the island's beaches.
Trees, especially the most impressive specimens, are taken seriously in South Carolina, where many local ordinances protect them. But the laws also curb clearing of lots that can reduce buffering and speed runoff and erosion.
Thirty percent of the sand on North Carolina's Nags Head beach was lost to Hurricane Matthew last year, but now the Outer Banks town plans to rebuild. The effort will involve restoring 1 million cubic yards of sand in a way that will also prepare for future damage.
US Steel is the target of penalties sought by Indiana regulators over illegal pollutant discharges into Lake Michigan in April and October. The company will also be the subject of a lawsuit filed by the University of Chicago's Abrams Environmental Law Clinic over repeated violations of the Clean Water Act.