5/21/2013 12:52:00 PM Brush pick up suspended; police chief moving on
By Nan Babcock
West Concord's City Council decided to temporarily suspend their brush-pick-up service due to the heavy amounts of branches and debris being left on boulevards after the May 2 snowstorm. The city has been providing Monday morning brush pick-up service to its residents for several years.
"We have people leaving huge amounts of debris, including large tree limbs and logs for us to pick up, that's not the purpose of the service," noted council member Al Gilbert at their May 16 meeting. "We don't have the time or the equipment to deal with this amount of debris."
"We were at it for eight days, and we had to pull back because we have other things in the city to take care of," maintenance supervisor Keith Clammer reported.
The service will be suspended, and residents will have to deal with cleaning up and hauling the broken shrubs and tree limbs left by the snowstorm. City administrator Kay Hanson clarified the policy that West Concord residents can haul their own lawn debris to the brush dump at no charge. The city staff will resume hauling small amounts of brush and bagged leaves as time is available.
Police Chief accepts position in St. Charles
Police Chief Ken Frank told council members he has been offered the position of police chief in St. Charles, and he will be accepting the position pending a background check and moving expense negotiations. He anticipates leaving his West Concord position around July 1. "I would anticipate a smooth transition," he said. "(Officer) Shannon Boerner is very competent to step in." The personnel committee will meet to determine the next steps to be taken.
Council member Greg Klevos told the other council members he would like to see the city enter into a 5-year agreement with SEMMCHRA to provide housing and redevelopment funding opportunities. The cost would be $4,495, which would be levied to property owners, but it was unclear if that amount would cover the five years or it would be an annual cost. Council member Karen Peterson voiced concern about adding an unbudgeted expense to the city's budget. The motion to enter the agreement was defeated 3-2.
Council members were asked to provide reduction or relief for a water and sewer bill in a situation where the toilet ran for several weeks in an unoccupied home, running up a bill of $992. At Al's suggestion, they agreed to charge the water expense of $316.70 and eliminate the sewer charge of $669.30 and the storm sewer charge of $6. Greg asked, since he is the newest member of the council, if there was a formula that was followed in dealing with this type of situation, and if a precedent would be set that others would expect to have followed. The other council members agreed that they approach each situation on a case by case basis, and plan to continue to do it that way.
A list of maintenance and repairs needed on the city's plow truck was discussed. The truck is not scheduled to be replaced until 2020, and Council member Ryan Fay questioned whether it will last that long. Kay suggested that they look into replacement prices, and when it's budget planning time, to consider moving the truck up on the schedule.
Pool opening delayed
Keith reported that the swimming pool will not be opening the day after Memorial Day, as was planned. A leak was discovered in the baby pool and it will have to be repaired.
Bill Babcock was appointed a director of the public library board. The local board is still searching for a resident willing to become a director of the SELCO board, which meets quarterly in Rochester.
Mayor Jeff McCool told the council that "Love West Concord Day" was scheduled for Saturday, May 17, and Pastor Chris Brekke was taking the lead in organizing the event, which gives volunteers the opportunity to do maintenance and upkeep around town. Painting at Lions' Park was on the schedule, and Karen said Hardware Hank had donated the paint.
The concession stand at the ball field is in need of some repairs, including a wiring upgrade which will be done by Dostal Electric for $482.
The next meeting of the city council will be June 20.