Despite being under an existing contract with the City of Versailles to provide solid waste services (dumpsters and roll-outs) for city businesses and residents, WCA/GFL Environmental’s Municipal Manager, Max Murray, asked the Versailles Board of Alderman in their meeting Tuesday, July 12 to be allowed to implement a “minimal fuel surcharge” to the cost of all accounts serviced within the city limits.
The WCA/GFL proposal was for the addition of a 5-percent “fuel surcharge” as long as diesel fuel costs, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, meet or exceed $5 per gallon.
Murray told the council the price for fuel has increased 108 percent in recent months. The company has been taking measures, such as smart routing and reducing trips, but increased fuel costs are affecting profits. “I’ve worked in this business 55 years. This is unprecedented,” Murray said.
Andrew Hardwick, attorney for the City of Versailles, questioned the wisdom of adjusting the existing contract. Addressing Murray in particular, Hardwick said, “You shouldn’t be breaking a contract because your company failed to prepare for it. My assumption is you’re still making money.” No action was taken on the issue.
$15,000 Rebate
In more positive financial news, Nathan Lines, with the Missouri Rural Water Association, presented the city with a $15,000 rebate from a DA Davidson loan for water system improvements that had experienced a lower rate of interest on the outstanding amount. The $15,000 will most likely be spent on water and sewer related needs. It cannot be spent for payroll or general operating expenses.
Hydrants to be Flushed
Superintendent of Public Works Charles Hibdon said the city will be flushing fire hydrants next week, July 18 – 22. Residents should use caution when washing lighter clothing, as sediment can be stirred up during the flushing process and temporarily discolor tap water.
In another water-related matter, Hibdon reported it will not be necessary, as previously feared, to replace the starter motor on the city’s Well No. 2 (near Dollar Tree). It was determined the problem was not the motor but a section of wiring that had deteriorated, nearly burning out a connector. The wiring was replaced at a cost of $350 (versus nearly $8,000 for a new starter motor).
Council Briefs
– The city’s brush chipper, which is less than two years old, is back in the shop for repairs again. A trade-out may be the next step.
– The council approved Premier Pyrotechnics for the fireworks show in 2023, after a successful show this year. They voted (3-1) to have the show July 3, as the date received community support.
– A letter/number combination will be installed on hangers at the airport to make it easier for first responders to identify hangers and contact owners in an emergency.
– An ordinance was passed requiring all new or replacement electrical installations to meet the standards of the local utility company before electrical service will be connected.
– Dangerous building hearings will be taking place regularly. The next is 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, prior to the regular 6 p.m. city council meeting at City Hall in Versailles.