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Durham City Council

Contributing writer

“The biggest topic we have tonight is trash,” Mayor Mike Sorenson told the Durham City Council at their meeting Oct. 4. “Waste Connections is offering a new contract.”

The one-year contract calls for the same rates charged by Stutzman in 2010 — $7.75 for residents and $45 for businesses, although the business rates sometimes vary depending on the volume of trash.

Joyce Medley, city clerk, pointed out the difference between the amount paid to the refuse company and that charged by the city was minuscule and suggested the council might want to consider raising the rate.

Gary Unruh moved and Verlin Sommerfeld seconded to accept the contract with Waste Connections. Tom Harmon moved to increase the rate $1 for all customers to cover the city’s cost for the Dumpster at the community building and help with administration expense. On a second from Sommerfeld, the motion carried.

The mayor said he was approached by the father of a young man who needs to do 20 hours of court-ordered community service. He noted a number of tasks that need to be done — trimming trees, clearing brush, cleaning gutters at the park shelter house, painting, and so forth. He asked the council’s opinion on whether he should put the man to work.

Harmon raised the question of the city’s liability if the worker should be injured.

“If we do it, I think he needs to stay on the ground and away from power equipment,” Unruh said.

By consensus, the council authorized the mayor to go ahead if it seems right to him after receiving complete information.

The water report pointed to 440,500 gallons pumped and 412,065 gallons sold, for a loss of 6.46 percent. “Everything is going well out at the well house,” Sorenson said.

At a recent inspection, he was informed that, by 2015, every well would be required to have its own meter. “The pipe is rusting out, so it will have to be replaced soon,” he said. “That may be a good time to think about installing another meter.”

Bills approved for payment were all routine.

Last modified Oct. 13, 2011

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