By: Madison Fugate
Before officially commencing the Stanton City Council meeting and the regular prayer over the meeting by the mayor, Mayor Allen gave a brief update regarding city employees and the pandemic. The city of Stanton Mayor, Dale Allen, announced that two of the city employees are currently under quarantine as a result of exposure to the virus, COVID-19. He goes on to admit the city has been blessed with a lighter work load and not a high demand for addressing work orders and leaks since the two employees were quarantined. Apparently, another city employee had the virus as well and was only able to return to work as of last Monday. The Mayor states, “It’s been a mess,” when considering the recent circumstances caused by COVID-19. Additionally, it should be noted that several entities within the county such as the Powell County Jail, Powell County Clerk, Stanton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and more entities inside the county have been effected and exposed to the virus since the pandemic was first introduced to the community as well.
One of the first items on the agenda the council was updated on was the planning of possibly installing four cameras at the “main stop light” as described by Mayor Allen. Stanton Police Sergeant, Ian Morton, has been one of the city leaders who stands behind the need for the cameras and has been researching the cameras for the last three or four months, according to Allen. Allen gave an update that the city had received a bid for $4,340.00 made by First Defense Security Systems. This bid is valid until January 31st and includes both the equipment and installation. Also according to the comments made to the council from Allen, there was no advertisement for bids as per the recently passed statute with the language, only generally speaking and not quoting directly, has no requirement of advertisement if the bid is under $30,000.00. “This company had the cameras that they wanted and the equipment that they liked,” Allen stated. It was also described to the council that the high-resolution cameras would monitor the city traffic day and night and would operate using internet services, even so that local law enforcement would have the opportunity to monitor the system from the police station. “Eventually, we’d like to have some more,” Allen goes on to confess to the council. The question came up in conversation among the council members as to whether or not there was a legal requirement of providing some sort of public notice to the city and according to the city attorney, since the camer-
as would be installed on city property, a public notice would not be a requirement and going on to say, “These would only be used for law enforcement purposes.” After getting the clarification the council needed to pass the motion for surveillance within the city, a motion was unanimously passed by the Stanton City Council to approve the said camera installation.
Next on the agenda, Mayor Allen addresses some part-time workers that he says has been with the city for several years now. Allen introduces two of these three employees stating that they both work at the park helping with water and sewer and the third employee being referenced to is also a part-time employee. Allen claims they are currently only making $7.88 hourly and brings a formal request to the council to approve a fifty-cent raise for these three employees. All were in favor and the motion carried.
Joining the city council in their streamed meeting was the company of Frances with Rumpke. Allen states that since he became mayor of Stanton, there had been none to very little raise in the cost for garbage collection, adding, “That’s a tremendous amount of time to have not had a raise in garbage.” However, in 2018, the city signed a three year contract with Rumpke and the amount for garbage collection increased to $12. For residential, Mayor Allen says the cost is currently $8.34, though the city charges $12. He goes on to update the council that the volume of garbage, city-wide, has appeared to have doubled. Given that information, Rumpke proposed a new cost. Allen states the proposal from Rumpke includes a stagger of increase in yearly costs. “For year one, they want us to go to $9.50, they’ve staggered this thing and for year two, $10.00. The rest of them vary back and forth,” Allen presented the proposal admitting he would rather not “go to bid” for garbage collection reminding the council of negative past experiences with other garbage collection companies that have been utilized by the city in the past. “I would like to stay with Rumpke,” Allen admitted. Allen proposed either increasing the residential cost by $1.50, increasing the residential cost to $13.50, to potentially profit in the first year and regress some of that profit in the second year. This would also prevent further altering of the costs for residential garbage collection in just a year from now. There will need to be an ordinance passed requiring two readings. In order to allow the council more time to review the potential increases per some of the members’ request, a special meeting will be held to establish an official first reading for the exact increase.
The Mayor brings forward a request to make one city employee, City of Stanton Zoning Officer, Ann Snowden, a full-time position. His reasoning for this extension in said position was generated as a result of the increase in her work load as well as the amount of years she has served the city in this position. Snowden’s position is currently listed as a part-time position and the city would need to create a full-time position to offer Snowden the extension in her career with the city. “She’s done a really good job and she’s a good employee, but she really needs to be on something full-time,” Allen states. In order to offer this, the city will pass an ordinance creating a new position that is full-time and there will be two readings of this ordinance before it becomes official. There was a motion made to approve the first reading for this new position with Snowden in mind.