City Commissioners approved at least a one-year trial period for Bird Scooters to bring a fleet of electric stand-up scooters to Atchison during Tuesday’s regular meeting. Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with the California-based company that states the City will not pass any ordinances outlawing the scooters and will essentially treat them the same as bicycles in the creation and implementation of laws within city limits. The initial plan is for the company to bring between 50-100 scooters to Atchison.
The scooters operate through an app that must be installed on the user’s phone and the scooter is activated and tracked via GPS, charging a fee for activation and a fee per minute of use. Users must agree to the company’s terms of service that state riders must be 18 years of age or older, must have helmets, and must ride on streets and not sidewalks, among other terms.
The memo of understanding renews annually unless either party provides written notice to the other its intention not to renew at least 90 days prior to the end of the agreement term. Bird reached out to City staff after independently identifying the market as a potential place to expand its operations.
Created in 2017, Bird Scooters currently have service in more than 350 cities worldwide and have reported more than 200 million rides on their brand of scooters.
In other action Tuesday, commissioners approved the purchase of three new dump trucks for the city’s public works department, one 5-ton and two 2.5-ton vehicles. The total cost for the vehicles including outfitting with equipment is estimated to be $457,646. The City currently only has 2.5-ton trucks in its fleet, and the trucks being replaced are between 12-15 years old.
Commissioners also approved a resolution setting a hearing for demolition for properties at 119 S. 5th St., 221 N. 12th Street (garage only), 627 N. 1st St., 719 Spruce, 1011 N. 7th St., 1027 N. 7th St., and 1029 Parallel St. Those hearings were set for the March 7 commission meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the Commission Room.
Commissioners also discussed the city’s 2022 Legislative Policy Agenda, opting to table it for discussion at the next meeting. Commissioners also appointed Justas Norvilas to a 4-year term on the Airport Advisory Committee, heard the 2021 audit report from the Atchison Housing Authority and approved the purchase of three police vehicles as part of the regular replacement schedule.
The meeting was held on Tuesday because Monday was the holiday recognizing Martin Luther King Jr.
The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, in the commission room, but there are special meetings Thursday and Friday of this week for executive sessions related to the search for a permanent city manager.