By: Diane Benjamin
Residents will be getting free disposal of all the rain and sewer soaked materials from last weekend’s storms. The City will create a map for dates but pickup won’t start until July 6th. The City Manager stated the start date is subject to change if assessments require it. Infrastructure that was under water will be assessed too for damage.
Brush pickup will be suspended for the two weeks it will take to pick everything up. See more at the bottom of this page: https://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/public-works
Since nothing is free, the pickup will not be free. Expect to pay more somewhere.
The Council will be in-person at the next meeting. They won’t be at City Hall, they will be at the Government Center. Staff might be looking at a way to still have Public Comment virtually for those who don’t want to make the trip downtown. All of the COVID emergency orders were ended by a vote of 8-1. Jenn Carrillo, who avoided being on camera for most of the meeting, was the lone NO vote. She never said why.
The only item of contention was Hamilton Road. One public comment urged the Council to vote no, Carrillo was the only NO vote again. Actual construction is dependent on receiving a federal grant. If it isn’t received this year the project will be on hold and the City will re-apply next year.
See 1:13:15. The Finance Director revealed the number of past due water bills.
- 2019 averaged 1250 shut off notices per month, only 161 actually shut off
- Start of COVID: 1350 bills 60 days past due sent totaling around $300,000
- Currently around 2300 accounts at least 60 days past due
- Last week the dollar amount was $1.3 million past due
Some council members want COVID relief funds used to pay off the past due bills. Average bill is $500.
The monthly report slides follow, a $1.2 million surplus is expected for the year that ended 4/30/2021. A $2.3 million drop in revenues was offset by a $3.2 million Federal grant.
Comments by alderman revealed citizens are not happy with the proposed changes to bulk pickup from the last meeting. It proves once again if government gives away anything it is impossible to stop it – unless leadership has courage. Expect to pay more for garbage, nothing is free.