Council passes sanitation rate increase

The Yuma City Council gave final approval for an increased sanitation rate.

The council unanimously approved the second reading of the ordinance increasing the basic residential sanitation rate from $15 to $18 per month beginning in March, and by another $3 beginning January 1, 2025.

The vote came during last week’s regular meeting. Mayor Ron Swehla, Mayor Pro-tem Marc Shay, Dan Baucke, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Tim McClung and Terri Frame were in attendance. Jerome Benish was absent.

The city has stated the increase is due to rising costs for equipment, maintenance, supplies and other fees for maintaining the Sanitation Fund. It reported a new trash truck was purchased in 2019 for approximately $265,000. The anticipated purchase price for a trash truck that is in the 2024 budget is $425,000, an increase of 60 percent. The cost of 300-gallon trash containers also has increased significantly from $259 each in 2018 to $399 each in 2023.

The council last week authorized proceeding with a CDPHE Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Grant Application for a new ambulance. The council was told the process needs to start now for the 2025 cycle deadline, but the Yuma Ambulance Service anticipates it likely will not arrive until 2026.

The grant would reimburse $141,833.18, with the city’s share being $220,376.20. The ambulance will be equipped with the required safety equipment, the cot, and the cot loader.

A proclamation for Yuma County Ag Week in March was unanimously approved.

The liquor license renewal for Main Event Bar & Grill, LLC was approved, as the malt beverage license renewal for 7-11.

The purchase of a new Walker Mower from Asmus Equipment for $16,999 was approved.

There also was the purchase of new fire hose and bunker gear for the Yuma Volunteer Fire Department. It was stated that the current fire hoses are 20 years old.

Police Chief Jerry Thompson had a few requests. He asked for permission to proceed with purchasing two drones. The motion was for not to exceed $10,000. The purchase is being split between three city entities, so roughly $3,000 per department. The council passed the motion on a 5-1 vote, with Baucke casting the dissenting vote.

A budgeted purchase of three new laptops not to exceed $13,000 was unanimously approved. The chief also sought permission for a grant to erect a building at the shooting range. It is not exceed $11,000, as approved by the council.

Baucke asked about the city’s plan to fix potholes. City Manager Scott Moore said the city is working with McCormick Excavation to address that issue.

The council’s next regular meeting is February 20.