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Nearly free police car and recycling at Ward

Generosity flowed at the Feb. 10 Ward City Council meeting as council members learned of a nearly free, new police vehicle, and a proposal for nearly free recyclable material pickup.

Mayor Art Brooke and aldermen Lee Schoonover, Gary Matheny, Charles Gastineau, and Don Howard attended the meeting; Bill Moon and Jeff Shaver were absent.

Brooke told the aldermen that an anonymous donor had provided most the funds needed for 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 4-by-4 pickup truck to be used as a law enforcement vehicle.

“We have never had a new police vehicle in the city, that I am aware of,” Brooke remarked.

The donation is $23,500, “and it is already deposited in our account,” Brooke said. The cost of such a vehicle is $26,000 at the state contract price, he said.

Buying the vehicle would require the police department to provide about $2,500, “and [the police department] have that,” Brooke said.

Since the price is beyond his discretionary spending limit, the council would have to vote on the purchase, Brooke said.

Gastineau made the motion, seconded by Schoonover, to purchase the vehicle; there were no dissenting votes.

Mark Bruning of Veterans Recycling offered the council a proposal to establish a recyclable material dropoff location for Ward. Bruning said Veterans Recycling provides free pickup of most recyclable materials. Some materials require a fee for disposal requirements, such as hazardous wastes, Bruning said.

In about eight months, the business had provided the service to about 150 households and businesses, and moved about 99,000 pounds of materials that would not be collected by C&S Sanitation, Bruning said.

No fee is charged because, “we don’t feel it is ethical to charge people again for something they are already paying for,” in the fees charged in the water bills. Veterans Recycling raises money through the sale of the recyclable items, Bruning said.

Residents face additional fees and costs if they take items to a landfill, the nearest of which is 20 miles away, Bruning said. The minimum fee is $35 regardless of how small the item, he said.

Bruning proposed the city provide a location and support, such as utilities, for the company to operate from; the company would provide the equipment and materials for the operation. Residents would have a fixed location to bring their recyclables, Bruning said.

After discussion, Brooke said the council “would probably entertain some thought” about proposal. “We’ll get back to you … either yes or no…” he said.

In other matters, aldermen approved an ordinance requiring independent city candidates to file nomination petitions with the county clerk no earlier than 20 days prior to the preferential primary election and no later than noon on the day before the primary election.

The aldermen also accepted the parks and recreation report from director Courtney Dorman.

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