Scottville to pursue interim city manager
SCOTTVILLE — With outgoing City Manager Amy Williams nearing the end of her 20-plus-year tenure with the City of Scottville, commissioners are considering hiring an interim city manager for the period between Williams’ final day and the hiring of a permanent replacement.
Williams said a potential interim city manager has been identified, adding that there were still some details to work out between that candidate and city officials.
“We’ve been talking with someone,” Williams told the Daily News on Monday. “I think the mayor is wanting to talk to that person one more time to make sure they’re on the same page, but we’re hoping to make an appointment by the April 15 meeting, which is my final meeting.”
Scottville officials received an update about the search process at Monday’s city commission meeting, during which Williams shared a recruitment brochure that the Michigan Municipal League (MML), the group contracted to oversee the search, has sent out to prospective candidates.
Williams said Kathie Grinzinger, lead recruiter for the MML, has asked city commissioners to reserve time to conduct profile screenings after the April 24 resume deadline.
Commissioners will establish these times in a public setting at the Monday, April 15 city commission meeting, according to Williams.
City commissioners on Monday approved an extended contract with waste management company Republic Services that will find the city paying a higher annual rate for services, but also will prevent increased costs from being as high as they could be, according to Williams.
The city will start paying an additional recycling collection fee of $8,046 on July 1. The three-year contract approved on Monday would retain Republic’s services through 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Matt Biolette, regional outreach director for Republic, spoke to commissioners about the new contract and the reason for the added cost, which he attributes to changes in the market worldwide.
Biolette told commissioners the increased cost was also necessary in order to keep the city’s current two-week recycling schedule, according to Williams.
“He explained that, in order to keep our recycling at every other week like we have it, it comes at a cost and that cost is around $8,000,” Williams told the Daily News on Tuesday.
The other option would be to change to a monthly pick-up plan. Williams said Scottville residents use the recycling pick-up services enough to warrant the higher rate.
“To go to monthly recycling, there’s not a lot of savings, and we have 60 percent recycling participation, so that’s phenomenal. The average is just 30 or 40 percent, so Scottville wants to recycle,” she said. “For the dollars, the city commission thought recycling is important, and we’re going to keep it as it is for now.”
Williams said the vote to approve the three-year contract was unanimous, with the exception of Second Ward Commissioner Marcy Spencer, who was absent at Monday’s meeting.
“We did (approve the contract),” Williams told the Daily News. “There was some discussion, but it was a unanimous vote to extend it.”
There is an additional 3-percent refuse fee of $1,894 for the first year that will increase as the total amount grows from year to year. With the refuse fee added to the total, the cost of Republic’s services will go up from $66,473.19 in 2018 to $76,358.02 in 2019.
For 2020 through 2022, the total will be $78,252.02, $80,202.83 and $82,212.17, respectively.
The contract will lock the city in to a lower refuse fee rate than the average, which is about 4 percent, according to Williams.
Chickens and ducks
Commissioners also approved a request from residents Jim and Renee Jensen, who asked for permission to keep ducks and chickens on their property.
In a letter to the city, the Jensens asked for permission to keep up to 16 chickens and four ducks at their home on South Elm Street, with plans to keep the animals in a permanent enclosure.
The city normally requires residents to get written permission from nearby neighbors when submitting requests regarding the keeping of farm animals, but because the Jensens’ property is 2 acres, they do not have close neighbors.
Commissioners unanimously approved the request, according to Williams.
“We just clarified that there are no roosters,” Williams said.