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Food trucks and garbage cans discussed

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The Guthrie City Council held their regularly scheduled meetings Tuesday night along with the Guthrie Public Works Authority.

The council started the night with a scheduled workshop to discuss several issues. The first issue that got the green light in the workshop was to develop an ordinance to allow mobile vendors (food trucks) to conduct business in Guthrie. There are currently no rules to govern the trucks or fees set up for the city. The only ordinance currently on the books is for itinerant vendors like ice cream trucks in the summer. Guthrie’s Director of Economic Development Cody Mosley made the presentation to council. Mosley reviewed some of the fees Stillwater and Oklahoma City are receiving for their food trucks in their communities. The council directed city staff to draft a proposed ordinance for review at a future date. The council also asked the Logan County Health Department be looped into the ordinance so all of their requirements were met.

The other workshop item that had the most discussion was the new contract with Waste Connections that was to be approved later that evening at the GPWA meeting. Guthrie residents Phil Nichols and Joe Chappell made presentations to the council that they would like to see the poly carts green instead of the current color blue. The contract renewal calls for current blue carts to be replaced with new green carts over the five-year life of the contract. Guthrie City Manager Sereniah Breland told the council that to change colors would add .25 cents to every resident’s bill a month for the life of the contract and that currently Guthrie had one of the lowest rates in the state for trash collection. The Citizens Rate and Fee committee voted against the rate increase earlier this year when they where reviewing the rates in the city. Waste Connections said it would cost $300,000 to replace the blue carts with green carts.

After discussion in the workshop as to pull the item off the GPWA agenda, when it came to a vote in the GPWA meeting later on the new contract with blue poly carts still in place was approved 7-0. The GPWA was advised they could review the matter at a later date if they so chose. The Waste Connections extension starts Sept.1 with no increase to residential customers.

The council also got their first look at the fiscal year 2015 budget. The proposed budget for the next year that includes all funds, transfers and possible grants is $23,830,230. That is approximately a 20 percent increase over the 2014 budget of $19,424,051. If some of the expected grants do not come through then the budget will have to be cut.

The last agenda item in the workshop was a discussion for the ongoing downtown improvement project that has been worked on. The city had earlier solicited proposals for drawings and ideas, that being done Community Development Director Rene Spineto was seeking permission to solicit bids for the project. Breland told the council any bids would be a cafeteria style bid so the council could pick and choose what projects needed to be done in what order. The council gave the green light to Spineto to solicit the bids for council to consider.

The regular scheduled GPWA and City Council meetings wrapped up their business in 13 minutes with the only action item of changing the ordinance on beer gardens and special event permits that was approved unanimously and was also approved unanimously as an emergency. After Breland’s report to the council and comments by council members the meeting was adjourned at 7:13 p.m. for the night.

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