2018-07-05 / Front Page

Village council approves solid waste contract

By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GOODRICH — With just a little over five dollars more a year, the village council didn't have much choice in approving the only bidder for their solid waste contract for residents, which is the current contract holder, Republic Waste.

Administrator Jakki Sidge attributed the increase to cost of inflation, as the company had held the current contract for ten years, with minimal increases over that time. Some residents complained they felt it was too expensive and felt it should have been negotiated better.

In other business, Sidge detailed the last of the budget amendments for the fiscal year, noting they “This year in the general fund we took in quite a bit of extra money, one because of the $58,000 that we received back from the attorney fees that we had over the course of the years.” When asked following the meeting for clarification, Sidge explained this was a reimbursement of attorney fees from their insurance company.

The council also met in Closed Session to meet with Attorney Tim Winship to discuss replacing Sidge, who did not attend the closed session. Council is expected to discuss the matter further in open session at their next regular meeting, July 9 at 6 p.m. Resident Patrick Rouse said he applauded the action of replacing side as “necessary steps toward improving the village”.

He questioned the wisdom of employees being paid out of the Sewer fund, stating it could be a conflict of interest, but it is a typical municipal budgeting practice to account for employees time as the use of funds in those accounts are restricted.

Resident and planning commission member Dorene Hogness said she didn't think the village should hire someone with no experience and expect that applicant to take municipal clerk classes over the next three years but should hire someone fully qualified. She added she expected them to pro-rate Sidge’s current salary based on the applicant’s experience.

Councilman Jacob Vick said he wasn’t suggesting they hire someone with no experience as the classes are available to even certified clerks for additional training. He also asked about the park and trail being planned saying that not only had it not yet been officially approved by the council, but he was hesitant to do any work on it in the way of trail clearing or other projects, until it had.

Council President Marl Baldwin said he would just like to get in there and do something as the boy scouts are looking to start a project in there as well. Vick cautioned there was a lot of poison ivy in there and he had heard from residents who had questions.

Councilman Tim Light also said he had heard from people who had privacy concerns as their rear property line backs up to the trail area and were concerned with people walking past their houses, as well as saying that area floods regularly.

Concerns were also expressed about money being spent but Baldwin said no village funds would be spent except for fuel for the Bobcat tractor which is being loaned to help with the work. Vick said it is a village park and for it to be maintained they would have to pay the Department of Public Works personnel. Baldwin said that is something the Parks and Recreation committee can work out but he wants it to be volunteer based, including trash pickup. He is hoping people will police their own trash as he is opposed to having garbage cans in there which have to emptied and will attract animals.

Baldwin suggested they make a plan to have a meeting on local roads with residents and follow through with it as the last one planned didn't happen. “If you're going to do it, do it, and if not, don’t mention you are going to do it.”

The meeting video is available online in two parts (due to the closed session) in the Facebook group “Goodrichies”.

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