The Heber Springs City Council met recently and discussed issues with the size of trash cans. An ordinance already in place, that was not being enforced, states that the cans should be 40-45 gallon containers. Scott Hadley, Sanitation Manager told the council that this is a safety issue for his employees. Injuries from lifting too heavy of cans have been an issue. Another issue is the failure of some to not properly bag their trash. An even more severe issue is that employees have been injured by items such as needles, razor blades or broken glass which tear the bags. Ryan Mays, spoke during the open mic time to discuss working in the Sanitation department. He said, since Scott Hadley took over, there has been a vast improvement in Sanitation. The yard has been cleaned up (they took nine loads of trash out of it), the dumpsters have been fixed so the bottoms no longer rot out. They had 60 dumpsters that were unusable, now there are only 17 with six of those in the yard. May has recently been promoted to Sanitation lead and spoke highly of the mechanic they have working on the equipment. He said the only downside to the department is the pay.
“If the city wants to invest in the city, what will it take to get the city to invest in its people?” Mays asked. He told the council that he could go to other companies and make between $3 and $5 more per hour. The average pay nationwide is $16.55 per hour. Mays feels the city needs to invest in equipment and, the people.
Council person Paula Sporn said, “I visited the yard and I don’t know how you do what you do with what you have.”
In old business, the Mayor said they had finally reached an agreement with Verizon for the new tower. The council approved two encroachments to be grandfathered in. They also passed an ordinance to allow Pizza Pie-Zazz to apply for the necessary permits to serve alcohol. The council voted to extend NorthStar’s contract, approved a budget amendment and a change in the Dispatch’s hours of operation in the policy manual. They also discussed a credit card usage policy for departments.
They outlined the rules for the Urban Deer Hunt for 2019-2020 and heard Sheriff Chris Brown discuss the jail issue.
In supervisor reports, the animal control report, parks and recreation report and police reports were looked at. Bids for Drainage improvements were reviewed, as well as bids for the purchase of a new trash truck.