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— In January Decatur residents will see a 3-percent increase on their trash rates as part of the city’s five-year contract with Roll-off Service, Inc.

Roll-off Services general manager Randy Pounders appeared at the Nov. 9 city council meeting to remind aldermen about the increase.

“Hopefully you will be seeing some changes that will improve service,” he told the council.

The city negotiated a five-year contract with Roll-off to lower rates. According to the contract, the 3-percent price increase would go into effect on the second anniversary of the contract.

Prices will increase about 30 cents on Jan. 9, bringing the total trash bill to $10.11 per month.

“We don’t have a choice, it’s in the contract?” alderman Tripp Lapham asked.

“It’s automatically coming to us,” Mayor Bill Montgomery replied.

In other business, police chief Terry Luker asked the council to approve an update in the police department’s policy for firearms training and procedure. The council voted to update the policy and insert it into the police policy manual.

Luker also reported the police department needed to buy a new breathalyzer machine. Decatur’s machine will soon be obsolete, he said. The breathalyzer machine serves the northwest part of Benton County, including Gentry and Gravette, and Luker estimated it was used to perform about 20 breath alcohol tests last month.

The new machine will cost about $7,000 and the other police departments that use it will be responsible for training their officers to operate it, Luker said.

“Do we charge them? “Montgomery asked.

Luker replied that other departments aren’t currently charged to use the machine.

“I think if they’re using it, we should charge,” alderman Reagina Davis said.

No decisions were made on the matter.

Marcy Garrett of Liberty National Insurance Company, presented possible insurance plans for city employees to the council.

Garrett said her company offered voluntary benefits, such as life insurance, cancer and accidental death policies. Garrett said his company’s policies were more affordable than AFLAC. She also said the accidental death policy could be offered to volunteer firemen.

Montgomery told Garrett the city would talk about the possibilities and get back to her.

City utilities director James Boston said the wastewater treatment plant was in need of a lift to move sugar water into the treatment tanks. The lift would be less expensive and moremaneuverable than a backhoe, he said.

City administrative assistant Kim Wilkins pointed out the lift would also be used to put up Christmaslights and banners. It costs $350 a day to rent a lift to put up lights, she said Boston said the water department had money to pay for the lift out of its budget

News, Pages 1 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Trash rates to increase

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