Notes From City Council

The Wichita Falls City Council met Tuesday morning and settled a long time dispute about trash collection and made changes to the way they hire some of the people who keep you safe.

After much debate, the Wichita Falls City Council passed an ordinance to keep alley dumpsters in place throughout some parts of the city. Customers who use the dumpsters instead of curbside collection will now pay an additional $2.80 a month.

The decision came after residents spoke up, saying they wanted to keep the more convenient dumpsters. In mid-October councilors voted to table the issue until City Staff could conduct a survey of alley residents.

By increasing collection rates the city will still be able to generate about $300,000 a year it needs for new projects. The consolidation plan would have also reduced the number of employees, saving the city money in the long run. District 4 Councilor Tim Ingle said, "The idea of getting a smaller government and making it more efficient was exactly what this plan was to do. If you think about the long term impacts of 9 salaries, health benefits, retirement benefits, all the pay-outs of that over a long term that's millions of dollars."

The City Council also approved a change to the way the Wichita Falls Fire Department hires fire fighters. The department will still follow the Civil Service Hiring Process, but fire fighters who already have their certification will be eligible for a 4 week Mini Academy instead of the normal 14 week process.

Fire Chief Earl Foster said, "We'll be able to fill vacancies quicker under this process because the people that are already certified, we can get them in the fire station quicker." The Mini Academy for pre qualified fire fighters will begin Wednesday morning. Regular training is scheduled for March.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6