New contract for Medical Lake cell tower
Business remained somewhat quiet at the Tuesday, Feb. 5 Medical Lake City Council meeting, however a lease agreement update will bring in a small additional sum of money each month.
The City Council revised a second amendment to its lease agreement with Cingular Wireless on a water tower cell site.
The fee paid by Cingular increases by $250 per month, and changes some language in the agreement, listing the total number of antennas and their power.
While the agreement was welcome financial news for the city, unexpected issues with selling recyclable items have recently come to the forefront.
“Cardboard, which used to be our revenue generator, and when I say revenue generator a $3,000 check a month is pretty big for our recyclables,” City Administrator Doug Ross said.
In January, cardboard started at $45 per ton but dropped to $5 per ton this month.
“We have a hunch that a lot of that has to do with the new Waste Management recycling facility that opened up next to the Waste to Energy Plant,” Ross said. “It probably costs a lot of money to run that facility.”
Ross said he met with Sunshine Disposal in hopes of striking a deal with them to take the city’s recyclables, which would produce a better return.
Recycling glass actually ended up costing the city money at the end of last year.
“It went from $45 to $90 a ton here at the end of 2012, and Sunshine thinks that they can do it for about a third of that,” Ross said.
He did say that with the new agreement, glass wouldn’t be recycled, but rather sent to a landfill. That decision was based on the price offered.
“We’re just working on some cost saving measures, and getting paid more money for our recyclables,” Ross said.
The City Council also approved a single source ground ambulance service contract with American Medical Response for
The transport rate reduced from $941.22 to $893.64 for Medical Lake, although an increase in per-mile charges takes it from $17.57 to $18.54 per mile. An ambulance board looked at the contract and negotiated in the city’s best interest for the service, resulting in the reductions.
Councilman Art Kulibert also said the new contract shortens AMR’s response time.
“They were able to negotiate a better, lower rate for our citizens,” Ross said. “This recommendation comes from the ambulance service board.”
Looking at their records, the Fire Department hasn’t seen any late calls from AMR.
The City Council also voted to accept a donation from AMR. The company donated some of their radios to the city after one of Medical Lake’s went down due to electrical problems. AMR stepped up and provided seven radios to the city, along with bases and wiring harnesses for their installation.
The donation saved the city around $5,000, and will serve as a stop gap measure until Medical Lake is required to purchase new radios in the near future, based on new frequency requirements. The Fire Department is looking at October for a complete overhaul.
“This is just a stop gap to get the Fire Department to get new radios with the new frequencies,” Ross said.
Ross said Public Works supervisor Dan Dorshorst asked to have road restrictions up by the end of last week. He said patches were already needed on Brooks Road, due to heavy truck loads.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.