The Yuma City Council covered a variety of subjects during its regular meeting, last week.

Mayor Ron Swehla and council members Dan Baucke, Bethleen McCall, Steve Hoch, Ryan Saffer and Luke Goeglein were in attendance, while Bryson Chrismer was absent.

Raymond Heltenberg addressed the council on a couple of subjects during the public comment portion of the meeting.

He said he was representing the Yuma Lions Club when he asked if the trash cans on Main St. in downtown Yuma could be moved closer to the street. He said they are too close to the buildings, preventing Lions Club members from driving down the sidewalk in a pickup to up the U.S. flag in front of businesses on certain holidays.

There was no definitive response to the request from the city at the moment.

Heltenberg also addressed the new Master Plan adopted early in 2017. He asked how often it is revisited in order to see if any of the goals in the plan are being accomplished. City Attorney Kathryn Sellars said it should be updated every 10-15 years, and should be reviewed off and on during that time.

Heltenberg pointed out that paving Ivy Street on the east side of Yuma District Hospital & Clinics was one of the top priorities, but nothing had been done yet.

Council members said it definitely will be discussed. City Manager Scott Moore interjected, reporting that Ivy is not set up at the moment for storm drainage, and is in the city’s stormwater upgrade plans expected to be done in the coming years. He said it would be best to get that done before paving.

Heltenberg suggested the city keep the public informed on such developments.

A resolution approving an intergovernmental agreement for a Yuma-Washington Counties Major Crime Task Force was approved by the council on a 6-0 vote. (See another article for more on the task force.)

Prior to approval, Yuma Police Chief Jon Lynch explained the idea of the task force and answered questions from the council.

“I hope it never occurs,” he said of requiring the task force being activated, “but if it does, it will be nice to have this in place.”

The second reading of an ordinance mainly dealing with removing references to the planning commission from the Yuma Municipal Code, since the commission has been disbanded due to a lack of volunteers willing to serve, was passed unanimously. The ordinance also deals with the repealing a chapter in the code concerning the prohibition on the use of audio devices during meetings.

In regards to there no longer being a planning commission, it was explained land-use requests still will go through city administration and then the council as in the past; it’s just that there is not a planning commission decision in between.

The council approved the renewal of technical support for the AWAS at the Yuma Municipal Airport for $5,045. The agreement will remain with BTD Transportation.

A purchase of a system to help with meter reading came before the council. Moore said there was $15,000 budgeted for the system. There were two quotes, with Moore recommending the council approve the one that came in under the budget, for $12,500 from National Meter Company. The council approved on a 6-0 vote.

The third and final stage for automating water meter reading also came before the council. Moore said $55,000 was budgeted for the purchase, and recommended going with the bid from National Meter for $54,926. The council unanimously approved it. Moore said it will complete the automation of meter reading for all electric and water meters.

During council comments, Swehla said he thought snow removal by the city crew was excellent following the recent storms. He added that it would be nice to get residents to understand they can help with snow removal if they get their vehicles off the streets before the snow plows come by. He said he realizes that sometimes there is nowhere a vehicle can be moved to, but it would be helpful if possible.

Moore talked about posting snow route signs, adding that snow removal routes can be found by the public on the city’s website,

Speaking of snow and the cold, Goeglein said there have been complaints about residents leaving their pets outside. He asked that pet owners to please bring them inside during cold weather.

McCall reported that there were 28 applicants for director of Yuma County Economic Development, and the board hoped to have an excellence candidate in place soon.

An executive session regarding a building exchange was held at the end of the meeting. No action, except adjournment, occurred after the council reconvened in public.