Because people did not want to have their city taxes raised to run the recycle center the proposal for recycling will not be put into place in Aberdeen. The proposal was given by Snake River Dispose-all because recycling doesn’t pay for itself. The only way to make it worth the time and cost was if the whole city agreed to recycle. They would have recycle cans that would be picked up. Councilperson Katherine O’Brien said she has visited with many Aberdeen residents and they didn’t want to have their taxes raised at all.
She said she asked Pacific Recycling about plastic. They come over to Aberdeen and pick up plastic but it takes 60 totes to fill a truck. Aberdeen has only about 6 per month. She said they also said when Simplot closes they won’t come to Aberdeen as often.
O’Brien gave this report at the Tuesday, Aug. 12 City Council meeting held at City Hall Council Chambers. Present were O’Brien, Mary Leisy, Karalee Bonzon, Brian Schneider and Craig Wampler. Larry Barrett was absent. He was on his way home from a fishing trip on the coast.
Council members renewed the Community Forester Agreement with Gerry Bates. It is the same agreement the city has had in past years and does not cost any money.
A new tree ordinance and a temporary storage unit ordinance was passed out to council members. They will review these ordinances and vote on them at the next meeting, Thursday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. when they hold their budget hearing.
Mayor Morgan Anderson said he is working with the county on their Planning and Zoning. The city, at this point doesn’t know what responsibilities they will be in charge of with the county inspector doing the inspecting for the city. He also wondered if the city needs to set a fee for the zoning inspections. Anderson said he thought all they were going to be responsible for was to make sure the set backs were correct, but now he is not sure that is correct.
Schneider asked how the city would know if there was any building going on because it was the city inspector that looked around to see about that and then they went to the builders to have them purchase their building permits. Some people don’t purchase those permits before they begin building. Anderson said they will need to find out all that information. He is trying to meet with Alan Jensen of Bingham County Planning and Zoning and work out all these issues.
O’Brien said she has had some complaints about big rock on the road near Doris Nelson’s home. She wondered why there were big rocks on the road. She knows it is hard for senior citizens to walk and not twist their ankles in the big rocks. Richard Mayer said the city did not haul the big rocks. The largest they haul is 3/4 inch gravel. Maybe the large rock was some that got spilled from landscaping in yards.
Councilman Wampler said things are being fine tuned at the waste water treatment plant. They will be working on the clarifier next.
O’Brien asked if the city will have formal evaluations done before the budget year ends. Wampler said they did talk about that but forms were not drawn up yet. He could do them from the job descriptions, he felt. Mayor Anderson said he evaluates the city personnel all the time. He feels the city is fortunate to have such good people who care about what they are doing. Wampler said the employees weren’t too happy about the idea of evaluations because they felt it was a form of dismissal. They need to understand the evaluations won’t be used to determine dismissal, they are just a way for the employees themselves to set goals.
Anderson said he evaluates them by looking at the things in the city that are getting done. They do an excellent job, he said.
Councilperson Bonzon said they are going to purchase playground equipment for Posse Park. The equipment will cost $30,949.50. They city has $10,000 in donations and a $6,000 grant. If the equipment is ordered in October they will need to have some place to store it until spring. She visited with the company and it can’t be stacked. They need to have a 10 by 30 foot space for the storage.
Councilman Schneider encouraged the council members to finish reading the Community Review and prioritize what they think needs to be done first. Also look at the survey results to see what community members think. He said the city doesn’t want to drop the review.
“Sometimes it feels like if we don’t get a grant we don’t do anything. We need to prioritize,” he said.
Anderson said they are looking for grants for the Gem Trail and other projects in Aberdeen. He added he visited with the golf course and they say all they need is more golfers.
Councilperson Leisy said they are working on a capital improvement at the airport and they are meeting at Hazard Creek on the Gem Trail on Aug. 21 at 6:30.
Richard Mayer said the city could sure use a big beater to beat weeks at both the airport and in town. It would be nice to be offset so they could mow in the borrow pits. Anderson told him to look into it.
Anderson added he is checking into a couple of streets they may do. He asked the city crew to spray, beat or pull some of the weeds at Ward Oil. Even though they are in bankruptcy it would make Aberdeen look a little better. He also asked them to check into the weeds between the two railroad tracks in town. They are looking bad again.
Wampler said there is a house across from the school on Third West and Central that has a lot of tall weeds. There are people living in it but it looks bad.
Anderson said the alleyway south of the Norv Brown building has never been vacated. Something will need to be done there.
City attorney Garrett Sandow said some of the city ordinances need to be fixed. They don’t say anything about being able to charge a fee on some of them. He suggested they be changed a little and he could also make a fee schedule that could be posted. The ordinances could state to refer to the fee schedule. The fee schedule would be easy to change when it needs done.
He also said they are getting close to an agreement on the Wahlen issue and he thinks it is something that is doable.
Mayer told things that had been done the past month and listed things they will continue to work on the coming month. Wampler asked Mayer to prioritize which sewer lines need to be done first.
Anderson said they want to put benches in some areas on Main Street and they need to work on a handicap ramp for City Hall. The ramp directly in front of the building is not big enough. According to regulations, the handicap parking space needs to have 8 feet on both sides of the vehicle space so a wheelchair can get out on either side of the vehicle.
The meeting was recessed until Thursday, Aug. 21 at 6 p.m.