Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2007

City council opts out of trash container loop

November 21, 2007

The De Soto City Council agreed last Thursday it wouldn't purchase the 95-gallon trash containers Weldon Enterprise will make mandatory for its De Soto customers when its new contract starts Jan. 1, 2008.

Last month, the council agreed in principle to extend Weldon's contract with the city another five years with the additional $2.25 a month in cost to cover the cost of the wheeled trash barrels. The company would continue to provide its recycling bin and its once-a-month large item collection.

Randy Weldon told the council that after an introductory period, the company would only pick up trash placed in the new 95-gallon containers. Those who consistently exceed its capacity will be encouraged to add another container.

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said last Thursday he looked into saving De Soto customers money by having the city purchase the containers from the manufacturer, Rihrig-Pacific in De Soto.

If the city did that, it would cost customers 78 cents less a month but the city also would have to administer their distribution and the replacement of lost or damaged containers. The cost associated with Weldon's proposed new contract would have the company handle all those administrative chores, Guilfoyle said.

Council members agreed the cost savings to customers didn't justify the city get involved in the process.

Councilman Mike Drennon again expressed concerns about the ability of the new service and the 95-gallon containers to handle customers' weekly trash, especially during Christmas or other special family occasions, such as birthdays.

In those cases, homeowners would have to recycle and compact trash by breaking down boxes, Weldon said.

"We've been offering the service in Eudora for three months and there hasn't been a problem," he said. "Recycling has gone up considerably in Eudora."

In other business, the council:

  • Approved a charter ordinance making De Soto a second-class city, or a city of the second class as Mayor Dave Anderson prefers. In doing so, the council agreed that appointments of city department heads and officers -- such as municipal judge, city attorney and city treasurer -- will not be re-appointed annually by the mayor but will be retained unless removed by a vote of the council with or without cause.

When the issue was discussed earlier this month, Councilman Tim Maniez objected to the erosion of mayoral powers. Although other council members did not share his concerns, it was agreed to table the issue until the absent Councilman Ted Morse could consider the change.

Last Thursday, Morse said he preferred the change.

"I think changing mayors shouldn't influence the outcome," he said. "I think it should be a vote of everyone."

  • Approved the purchase of $50,000 of riprap to protect the slope on Kill Creek where the pump station to the new sewer plant was installed. City engineer said there was considerable erosion at the site after heavy rains last spring but it appears to have stabilized. The expenditure is the last associated with the sewer plant, he said.

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