City of Richardton raises garbage collection rates
During a monthly meeting on Monday, the Richardton City Commission passed a rate hike on garbage collection and discussed Federal Emergency Management Agency natural disaster relief funding.
RICHARDTON, N.D. — The Richardton City Commission held its regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday evening where commissioners raised trash collection fees and discussed federal snow emergency relief funding.
City Auditor Marcy Kuntz also recommended the city raise trash collection rates, as its costs of fuel and tonnage with MGM Waste Management have been rising.
“Garbage was never intended to be something that generates income for the city. We’ve always tried our best to have it be more of a pass-through, and only markup what is necessary to cover our own expenses. With the price of fuel, it’s just gotten a little out of our boundary,” Kuntz said. “In April we ran short, what we billed versus what we paid, by $142.”
The commission unanimously passed a motion to raise trash collection rates by 15%. This will equate to a monthly rate hike from $23.80 to $25.63 for residents with a single 96-gallon container.
“It's minimal extra cost to the citizens,” Commissioner Mike Farley said.
Kuntz said the city is eligible for natural disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but only for one 48-hour period. With the costs of fuel and public works department overtime labor, snow removal efforts for April 14 and April 15 were $5,022.
During that snowstorm, several contractors and private citizens used their equipment to help Public Works Director Mike Grinsteinner clear city streets. Kuntz explained that equipment rentals are at an hourly rate of $80 for large machines such as tractors and loaders, and that smaller equipment is rented for $65 for things equipment such as skidsteers. She contends that the rates are the same rates the North Dakota Highway Department uses in similar situations.
The total cost of the equipment usage to $3,605. She said this was included in the previous figure, but that it was unclear when the federal government would deliver those funds. Commissioner Kelly Peters argued the city should reimburse the private plow drivers now, regardless of FEMA’s timeline.
“They helped us, so I think we should help them,” Peters said.
The commission unanimously passed a motion to reimburse the private equipment owners.
Lea Floberg, volunteer squad leader for the Richardton-Taylor Ambulance Service, requested the city review and update its emergency operations plan. She said it hasn’t been updated since 2017, has several outdated names and points of contact.
“After our recent (snow) emergency, it seemed as if there was a lot of disconnect as to how all of our entities will work together through a blizzard or whatever the case may be,” Floberg said.
The ambulance service will host a community meeting at 6 p.m. on June 9 at Richardton City Hall about North Dakota’s Cardiac Ready Community program.
“We'll have a PowerPoint presentation on what the project is, then decide if there's enough community interest and involvement to move forward with that,” she said. “The goal is to improve outcomes with cardiac events.”
Community volunteers will be hosting a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 26 at Richardton City Hall. The commission unanimously passed a motion to waive the standard $100 fee to rent the space for the blood drive.
Citizens of Richardton can vote in the June 14 municipal and primary elections at City Hall. The polls will be open that day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early voting will also be available to those in Stark County from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 6 through June 10 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 11 at the Prairie Hills Mall in Dickinson.
During the meeting, Commissioner Mark Aman was not present.