Durham places atrazine money

Tampa correspondent
(785) 965-2285

Durham City Council member Tom Harmon took action months ago to involve the city in a class action lawsuit against the makers of atrazine, a chemical prominently used in farm operations. The city received more than $5,000 in the settlement and council members voted Feb. 5 to put it in their water fund.

City clerk Joyce Medley served her last session presenting the annual financial report. All funds showed a larger balance at the end of 2012 than at the beginning.

Mayor Mike Sorenson expressed appreciation for Medley’s years of service to the city.

“You will be greatly missed,” he said.

Harmon had inquired about hiring a city clerk with residence outside city limits, and asked the council to pass an ordinance stating thus.

Gary Unruh made the motion to relax residential requirements for city employment, Verlin Sommerfeld seconded the motion, and it carried. The council will publish the ordinance and then wait 60 days to allow citizen protest before it voted into law.

Lila Unruh agreed to fill in as a temporary city clerk while the council continues to search for a permanent replacement.

Sorenson reported that Waste Connections raised its trash pickup fee almost $40. Council members discussed how much the city should raise the fee charge for this service. Unruh said the city should establish a 10 percent increase on top of Waste Connections charges to cover administration and annual cleanup week costs, but the council took no action.

The council did vote to discontinue recycling collection after April 30, noting that was the date the county will cease recycling pickup.

“If we discontinue it, the county will likely end up charging more for the transfer station,” Sommerfeld said.

In other business:

  • Council approved bill payment including a $200 diversion of separate water wells to a battery of wells. That diversion lets the city avoid installing a separate meter for each well.
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