By Marla Ogletree

The Homeland City Council held its monthly meeting Thursday, November 14.

During the meeting, council members heard from Greg Huntington from Advance Disposal. The city sent the company a letter of termination and put the contract for garbage pick-up out to bid. Homeland only received a bid from Advance Disposal. The bid stated Advance Disposal would  charge $14 per trashcan. Huntington suggested the city consider renewing the contract instead, as the current one will not end until December 31. He did state, however, there would be updates to the new contract, including a price difference of $2.50 per can – from $8.50 to $11.00. Huntington also told the council the company will be acquired by Waste Management around April of 2020. The council members thanked him for his time. Public Works Superintendent Blair Nixon reccomended the council reject the bid and consider renewing the contract to secure the lower cost. The motion to reject the bid was passed unanimously. They also discussed the possibility of repairing the city trash truck.

Also during the meeting, Homeland heard from Chief of Police Bradley Todd, who stated seized money has been moved to the drug fund account, which is used for certain things, including equipment and training. He stated the account may need to be reviewed to make sure it is “perfect” should the District Attorney decide to audit it. The council agreed.

Nixon updated the council on news of the Christmas street lights. He said they would only post them on four streets, but are currently waiting a lift. The council made a motion to allow Mayor Ouida Johnson to approve the renting of a lift and passed unanimously. He also stated the new flag pole for Waughtel Park arrived and has been put in place. The public works department is working on ditches. The public works department has found vandalism at Waughtel Park, specifically on the swings and are working on cleaning it. The council hopes to find the offenders.

Homeland City Council is currently working on the Clean-Community and Leash Ordinances. They will have an attorney look over them before putting them into place. The council is also working on citing any vehicles parked in the middle of city roads in the future. 

Homeland citizens had the opportunity to address the council on issues within the city. Angela Chesser told the council members there have been issues with her water bill, stating the price has fluctuated by more than $120.00. She said her water meter has gotten stuck on more than one occasion and believes that may be the problem. She reported there have been no leaks and no water left on for long periods of time. Chesser is concerned the readings have only been estimated instead of properly read. She asked the council to please send someone to replace the meter. Jo Arbogast, also of Homeland stated she has purposefully placed dirt over her meter to check if hers is being read each month, but found after two months, the dirt had not been disturbed. She is also concerned the readings are not accurate. Councilman Richard Gwaltney told the citizens to call city hall to have a work order done so the public works department may investigate the issues to have them resolved, as well as to have their water bills adjusted properly.

Mayor Ouida Johnson addressed Officer Mike King, and stated she believes he is doing a great job.

City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 28 and 29 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The council will meet again Thursday, December 12.