By Nick Worth
Holbrook residents will see a change in the look of their trash-hauling service beginning Feb. 1, when Larson Waste trucks will take over the job from the city.
City Manager Ray Alley asked the city council for approval of a contract Tuesday evening awarding the city’s trash hauling work to Larson Waste.
“We went out to bid for the garbage hauling and Larson Waste had the lowest bid at $7.45 per tote,” Alley said. He noted that the contract is for three years, with five one-year renewals. That fee also includes tipping and landfill fees.
The contract calls for Larson Waste to maintain at least three collection vehicles. As part of the agreement, residents will be getting new garbage totes. Alley said the new totes are 96-gallon containers, the same as the city’s current totes, but are shorter and wider.
“They won’t tip over in high winds like the current ones do,” Alley said. He added that billing, as well as resident’s concerns and questions, would still be handled by the city.
The only change to the actual service will be that those residents who currently have their trash collected on Wednesdays will have to change to Tuesdays.
“So they will have to put their trash out Monday night, or early Tuesday morning,” Alley said.
Alley told the council the contract would mean savings to the city of $14,000 to $20,000 per month.
“It will mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings,” Alley said. He noted the transfer site and recycle center will stay open with the same hours.
Alley also told the council the city workers who currently do garbage collection will be put to work doing clean-up in the city when the Larson trucks take over the trash routes.
“It will mean a cleaner city,” he said. “This will save the city a lot of money and offer improved services to the community.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.
In other action Jan. 15, the council:
* Ratified Cary Simpson as the new Holbrook fire chief.
* Adopted a resolution to lower the membership fees of the Holbrook Fitness Center to $10 per person aged 14 and over.
City Clerk Cher Reyes told the council she had been approached by Navajo County with a request to lower the membership fees from $20 to $10 for county employees. Reyes said giving a special rate to county employees would most likely lead to other employers asking for special rates. She and Alley decided a lower rate of $10 for everyone would be the best course of action.
In response to a question from Councilman Wade Carlisle, City Finance Director Randy Sullivan said the $10 fee would be adequate to keep the center going and to replace any equipment that may wear out.
Reyes said the center had 579 members in 2012 and 180 have signed up so far this year.
* Tabled a decision on changing the city’s short-term investments from the Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP) to CDs from Multi-Bank Securities, Inc.
Sullivan said the City of Holbrook has slightly over $255,000 in short-term LGIP investments, which pay only .08 percent interest. He said the CDs administered by Multi-Bank Securities pay an average of .5 percent, and that more than 4,000 municipalities are currently invested with Multi-Bank Securities.
“I’d like to be more aggressive in earning more on our investments,” Sullivan told the council.
Vice Mayor Charles Haussman, who was running the meeting for Mayor Jeff Hill, said he would like to see exact figures and asked Sullivan to prepare the data for the council’s next meeting on Feb. 19.
* Heard a report from Haussman, who told the council that with the retirement of Dr. Francisco Casanova Jr., many people had expressed confusion over when and where medical help is available in the city. Haussman urged the council members to try to think of anything the city might be able to do to attract a physician to come and practice in Holbrook.
* Heard in a report from Alley that he spoke with Pat Avery of American West Potash and was told the company is submitting air quality plans to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on Jan. 29. Avery told Alley he is still seeking financing and that the company’s mining project is still moving ahead.
* Heard a report from Alley on new businesses moving into Holbrook. He said the new Maverik store is still being built and has a completion date near the end of March. He said the store will employ 27 people. Alley also announced the Tractor Supply Company will be moving into the old Bashas’ store in the shopping center and that a permit request has been turned in for a Carl’s Jr. sign at the old Kentucky Fried Chicken building.
Alley also announced the resignation of Teri Walker and the hiring of Kathleen Gardner-Smith as community event/tourism coordinator. He said Gardner-Smith was the second choice from among the job candidates who were interviewed when Walker was hired.
* Approved Ordinance 12-10 changing the city’s purchasing policy.
Under the old purchasing policy, any purchase over $1,000 required the city to get three oral bids before making a purchase. Under the new ordinance the figure requiring three oral bids was raised to $2,500-$4,999. A purchase costing between $5,000 and $14,999 requires the city to obtain three written bids, and anything over $15,000 requires a formal bid notice printed in the newspaper.
* Approved an after-the-fact emergency purchase of parts for a city sanitation truck from Balar Equipment for $1,562.41.
* Approved payment of $2,851.40 to McPherson Collision for repainting a police car, which arrived from the factory painted in the wrong colors.
Police Chief Mark Jackson told the council he was only able to secure two bids on the job, as the third business he checked with refused to submit a bid.
* Approved an after-the-fact emergency purchase of parts for the golf course backhoe from RDO for $2,562.58.
* Approved an after-the-fact emergency purchase of $9,955.81 for a water pump and work at the Sun Valley water system.
Sullivan told the council the TPC company, which won the bid for work on Holbrook well No. 3, ran a test on the non-working well at Sun Valley and installed a new pump. He said the truck with the specialized testing equipment was on site for well No. 3 and so he also authorized them to work on the Sun Valley well. Sullivan said the money for the expenditure came from the Professional Services Budget and from the Repair and Maintenance Budget, so no money had to be taken from the general fund for the work.
* Passed a proclamation declaring Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1, as Hashknife Pony Express Week.
* Approved payment of claims for Dec. 13, 2012, through Jan. 9, 2013.
* Set the March 19 council meeting as the date to carry out the annual evaluation of Alley in his position as city manager.
By Nick Worth