By Dennis Minich
ADRIAN – Residents will see an increase in their city bills starting next month after the board of aldermen approved a new contract for solid waste collection in the city.
The board accepted the bid of Countywide Disposal for a five-year contract. The rate to start will be $19.55 per month, $4.55 more than the current payment. It will, however, include 95-gallon dumpsters for each customer.
Countywide owner Lee McLain told the board his company would work with individuals and could provide extra containers or smaller containers, depending on individual’s needs.
The contract comes after the city’s previous provider, Bates County Disposal, closed. The city of Butler had hired Countrywide recently because of Bates County Disposal’s closing.
The board approved a licensing plan for ATVs, UTVs and golf carts in the city. For such vehicles to be used on city streets, owners must have a city sticker. The cost is $20 and will be provided once staff has confirmed the vehicle is insured and has proper safety equipment, such as a flag. Only licensed drivers are permitted to operate the vehicles in the city.
The board also passed bills for insurance purchases. The city’s general liability insurance dropped 11 percent while employee health insurance increased slightly. The aldermen also approved placing a 3 percent sales tax on marijuana sales in the city on the April ballot. As of this time, there are no marijuana stores in Adrian.
City Administrator Ryan Westcoat said the city did not need to make any law changes concerning the legalized marijuana, as earlier in the year the board had adopted a plan which would automatically place such changes into law. However, the employee handbook had to be updated because of rules concerning cannabis.
The changes to the manual also included revisions, such as adding Juneteenth to the city’s holiday schedule.
Westcoat also told the board that much of the software equipment for the city’s finance department was up and running, and that direct deposits for payroll could be operational this month and that by early in the next year an online payment system for residents to pay their city bills should be up and running.
The board was also told by Alderman Jeremy Bridges that the city’s finance committee might be out of date.
“We approved the committee in April at a time when we were in transition. We were making the transition to an administrator and in a financial transition. We did it and it worked well. But when we hired Ryan (Westcoat), many of the duties the committee was performing were part of his job. So, the finance committee, as it stands, does not exist, but I think we should form another committee to oversee the budget and audits,” Bridges said.
The board approved the plan and plans for the new committee will be developed.
A request was made to the board for support for a gate to be set up at the Methodist Church which would help children in the church’s preschool program cross the street to its playground. The request was sought as there seemed to be confusion from the state about safety protocols.
Westcoat requested he be allowed to contact the state before the board took any action.