WAYNE – The second April Wayne City Council meeting saw a wide variety of discussion points ranging from project payments to annexation and ambulance service negotiations.
After Mayor Ken Chamberlain read the Arbor Day proclamation, the Wayne Green Team made their yearly presentation to the Council. Sandy Brown reported that this year, the Green Team collected 16,000 pounds of electronics, 17 tons of glass and the Boy Scouts collected 5,500 pounds of cans, among other collection achievements. All of the recycling efforts have also helped the Green Team earn $25,000 in grant money since 2013.
Jim Frank, CEO of Providence Medical Center came before the Council to discuss renegotiating the ambulance service agreement between PMC and the City. Currently, the agreement states that the City will provide a $10,000 subsidy to the hospital. Frank and the PMC board of directors are asking for $75,000. This is a huge jump in price, but Frank told the Council that the hospital loses about $100,000 yearly on providing ambulance service. The $10,000 price was set in 1982 and hasn’t varied much since then. A special meeting was set between the Rural Fire District and PMC’s board to try to figure out some of the lingering questions, according to City Administrator, Lowell Johnson.
“The benefit goes to the people in the community but the hospital has no one to bill it to, so those are the kind of questions that are coming up,” Johnson said.
More headway was made for the Beaumont Event Center. The Council approved the Planning Commission’s recommendation to rezone the property that the center will sit on and waived the three readings. They also accepted a plan to extend sewer and water services not only to the future Beaumont site, but to 146 acres in the area. Growth studies have predicted that Wayne will expand in that direction, so this should make it easier for future development. With the winter as a deadline, the project should begin shortly.
“There are contractors out there looking for work so I think we’re going to get pretty good quotes. There’s already interest in it,” Johnson said.
A public hearing on the proposed annexation of the area is set for the May 2nd City Council meeting.
The City Council approved a Community Development Block Grant loan of $70,000 to Levi Kenny who will purchase Wayne Sport & Spine.
Plats for Schulz Railyard Addition and Tuffern Blue Estates were corrected and approved. More land was swapped to establish what the City and Wayne Community Schools own. A change order to increase the 2015 Wastewater Treatment Plant Project by $133,455 to fix a manhole was approved, as was a $95,301 payment for the project.
The City Council voted to approve a power purchase agreement with Cottonwood Wind Project, LLC for the City to acquire 10-15 percent of its power from a wind farm in Webster County. The agreement is a 25-year contract at a low price.
The Council tabled discussion about pre-paying Wayne State College $1 million for services. WSC is building a Center for Applied Sciences, which should provide economic development to the area. In exchange for that economic development, as well as internet services provided by the college, the city would essentially make a donation. There will be more discussion on the topic at the next Wayne City Council meeting, which will be held on May 2nd at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.