City Approves New Trash Truck, Meeting Broadcast Upgrades

 In Featured News, General News, News

City Commissioners approved the purchase of a new trash truck and upgrades to the City’s audio/video equipment in the commission room during Monday’s regular meeting – the final of 2021.

The new side-loader truck was quoted at $256,950 and will replace one that was bought in 2015 and is nearing the end of its lifecycle. The truck it is replacing has run an estimated 1,275,000 arm operations during its life, with an expected lifespan of about 1 million operations. In addition to frequent breakdowns in the arm apparatus recently, the outgoing truck is also showing some cracks in the truck body from heavy use. City Public Works and Utilities Director Clinton McNemee told commissioners that as long as the old truck isn’t too cost prohibitive, it will be kept as a backup moving forward.

The audio/video upgrades will take a system originally designed for cable-access channel broadcasts more than three decades ago, and upgrade it with new cameras, microphones, speakers, mixing equipment and equipment to make it easier to stream online. The upgrades were bid to cost about $45,000, coming under the city’s budgeted $50,000, and can be paid for using ARPA federal funds. The City regularly has more than 200 viewers of the commission meetings on Facebook and has struggled with sound quality and consistency with the current system that wasn’t designed for streaming but had been retrofitted in an attempt to make it passable.

Commissioners also approved more than $560,000 in water main replacements throughout the city from the Water Utility Fund, approved a $195,000 sludge pumper truck for the wastewater utility, and approved a contract with Kansas Municipal Insurance Trust for workers compensation insurance for 2022 during the meeting.

In other action, commissioners:

  • Approved a five-year tourism agreement with the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce;
  • Appointed many commissioners to terms on various boards;
  • Added Susan Turnbull to the Parks and Forestry Board for a four-year term;
  • Approved a resolution stating the city’s position on the countywide 1% sales tax for joint communications and solid waste;
  • Set fees for the Oak Hill Cemetery;
  • Approved the purchase of an F-250 pickup for Public Works;
  • Approved an agreement for an enhanced crosswalk at the intersection of 13th Street and Main Street with MGP Ingredients;
  • Authorized Gerber Electric for electrician services;
  • Authorized a $25,000 contract with BG Consultants for design work for the south headworks pump station;
  • Dissolved the Accessibility Advisory Group; and
  • Approved licenses for Deffenbaugh Industries and Atchison Express Lube as well as many CMB and Occupational licenses.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 17, in the commission room, but there could be special commission meetings before then to allow for city manager interviews in executive session.