City on way to increasing sanitation rate

The City of Yuma will be increasing its sanitation rates beginning March 1.

The Yuma City Council approved the first reading of the ordinance during its regular meeting, last week at Yuma City Hall. Mayor Ron Swehla, Mayor Pro-tem Marc Shay and fellow council members Terri Frame, Tim McClung, Jerome Benish and Marylu Smith-Dischner were in attendance. Councilman Dan Baucke was absent.

Following the recommendations from a sanitation rate study presented to the council last November, the basic residential rate will be increased by $3 beginning March, and by another $3 beginning January 1, 2025. The rate study was done by JK Energy Consulting, LLC.

That means the minimum rate for one pickup per week up to 360 gallons per month will increase from $15 to $18, and then to $21 at the start of next year. Commercial rates will increase to $22.80 per month in March, and then to $26.60 next year.

Residents who live outside the city limits but utilize the city’s trash pickup system, will see an increase to $36 per month, and then to $42 per month next year, which commercial outside of city limits will go to $45.60 in March and then $53.20 next year.

Read the full breakdown of sanitation rates within the ordinance inside this edition in the “Public Notices.” A public hearing will be held prior to the ordinance’s second reading at the February 6 council meeting.

More council

The council unanimously approved the Animal Assistance Foundation Grant for $8,222 to continue the Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) program for feral cats.

A resolution approving a “Cloudpermit” agreement for the Yuma Police Department was approved. It will help the YPD to better track code enforcement efforts. A resolution for a “Frontline” agreement for the YPD also was approved, as well as permission for the YPD to apply for a Homeland Security Grant.

City Manager Scott Moore presented a NJC Paramedic Training Agreement, in which the city will pay for the schooling to become a paramedic, but requires the person to stay for a minimum of two years with the Yuma Ambulance Service. If the person quits before that, they would be required to pay back the cost of the course on a pro-rated basis. There was some discussion about how the city could actually force the repayment if it came to that. The council approved the agreement on a 6-0 vote.

There were several budgeted purchases in excess of $5,000 presented to the council, and unanimously approved. One was for $18,370.59 to Western United for six transformers, and another to Western United for $13,220 for a ground transformer that Yuma Ethanol will use to power its system moving effluent from Yuma Wastewater Plant to its nearby location – the city will be reimbursed for that purchase. Another expenditure was for $23,900 for a study of the waste transfer system, and another for approximately $7,700 to Motorola Solutions for ambulance service radios.

Police Chief Jerry Thompson also had a request to not to exceed $50,000 to purchase a new patrol vehicle approved on a 6-0 vote.

The council gave a nodding approval for the Yuma Historic Preservation Commission to move forward with a grant. Council members provided reports for various meetings they attended.