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City to consider outsourcing sanitation work

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

During the regular monthly meeting of the Madison City Commission on Tuesday, Jan. 10, the commissioners voted to authorize city staff to solicit proposals to outsource the city's sanitation work. This came at the request of City Manager, Tim Bennett. Bennett emphasized that this would be purely exploratory at this time. The purpose for this is to compare the cost of outsourcing with the cost of leasing capital items such as garbage trucks, etc. Bennett stated that if it is decided at a future date to outsource sanitation work to an outside company, it would be his wish that whatever outside company would give serious consideration to hiring current city employees from the sanitation department. On a related subject, Bennett requested authorization to seek proposals to lease a new garbage truck for the Sanitation Department, a new knuckle-boon (also known as a grapple) truck for the Public Works Department, and a new vactor truck for the Wastewater Department. Currently, the trucks being used are in need of repair. It is estimated that the cost of repair for the vactor truck would be approximately $34,000. RDK Truck Sales has offered to loan the city a garbage truck and possibly a trade-in credit for the current vehicles. The commissioners authorized Bennett to solicit proposals for leasing all three trucks.

In other business for the commission, the commissioners voted to pass the consent agenda for the meeting. Items on the consent agenda included acceptance of the minutes from the Tuesday, Dec. 13 meeting. A mutual aid agreement for the Third Judicial Circuit was passed. This agreement allows assistance and cooperation among law enforcement agencies across jurisdictional lines during routine law enforcement matters and during emergencies. The City of Madison is one of 16 signatories to the agreement, including the Madison County Sheriff's Office. A resolution celebrating and honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was passed, as was a resolution commemorating Black History Month. Another resolution urging the appointment of municipal officials to the 2017-2018 Florida Constitutional Revision Commission was passed. The commission passed grant applications for a protective vest and a heat detector for police K9 Bolt. The commissioners approved a grant application for a traffic monitor and in-car radars for the Police Department. A grant application was approved for the purchase of a TV monitor and mounting brackets for the Police Department.

An 8x20 foot long flatbed trailer was declared a surplus item. Bids will be solicited for this item. Seven push lawn mowers and one weed eater were surplussed to Madison Correctional Institution (MCI). A 1984 John Deere backhoe was surplussed to MCI. A 1985 Ford F-700 dump bed truck was declared surplus property. A military dump truck was surplused to solicit bids. A 1993 Ford Ranger truck was surplussed. A 1994 street sweeper was also surplussed.

The City of Madison Fire Rescue responded to 25 calls during the month of December. Madison County Fire Rescue responded to 41 calls at a cost of $3,930. The Madison Police Department answered 1,995 calls during the month of December. There were 16 reported felonies, 24 reported misdemeanors, and 93 incident reports. The department cleared three felonies and 13 misdemeanors. There were 109 written or verbal warning citations issued. The department investigated 10 traffic accidents, 12 criminal, and 89 non-criminal citations.

The commissioners then held the first public hearing for the fiscal year 2016 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application. The commissioners listened to a presentation by Lauren Yeatter, Senior Planner with the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Yeatter gave a summary of the different grant programs administered by the Regional Planning Council. The commissioners voted to apply for a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant. If approved, the grant would be used to:

Relocate sewer lines at Oak Estates from residents' backyards to the front of the residents' houses. This will allow better access for repair and replacement.

Install new pipes for the force main that carries sewage to the lift station located at Lucky, Ganzy, and Happy Streets.

Increase the storage capacity of the above mentioned lift station.

The second of two public hearings on the CDBG application will be held during the Tuesday, Feb. 14 city commission meeting. The deadline for the CDBG application is Thursday, Feb. 16.

Mayor Jim Catron spoke to the commissioners about a proposed goals workshop scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7. This workshop would be to clarify the goals for the Madison City Government in the near and distant future.

Bennett informed the commissioners that Williams Electric had been removed from the task of installing electric services at the intersections of Rutledge and Shelby, and Rutledge and Hancock. Bennett stated this was done because of “misrepresentation[s] in the number of hours worked on the above mentioned task.”

The commissioners voted to host the meeting of the Suwannee River League of Cities during their meeting on Thursday, April 13. There will be no cost to the city to host this meeting.

The next scheduled meeting of the Madison City Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, located at 321 SW Rutledge St., in Madison.

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