The City of Baker is in the trash business – literally and figuratively.
The tubs used by businesses and residents all even have City of Baker etched into the plastic.
But it is time for more of the iconic plastic tubs to be replaced.
The City has ordered new tubs in both the 300 gallon and 90 gallon sizes, according to Mayor Steve Zachmann. The tubs come out of the refuse enterprise fund.
“Those are ordered to replace the ones that are in poor shape. They are pretty well set in place in sheltered areas where we have racks. Some of them move around a bit... but I don’t know how many of them got moved with that last big heavy windstorm we had,” the mayor explained.
The tubs have been repaired by the city crews for awhile. “We are getting a lot of use out of them, but we are at that point where we need to get some new ones.
“The larger ones are set up in the alleys, but there are a few people who do not have alley access so they were given the option of the smaller 90-gallon ones,” he said, noting that a recent windstorm had left an extra one of the smaller trash tubs lying around in his yard.
“People have to roll them out to the curb and then roll them back to the house on garbage day. If they miss that day, it will have to wait around for a week,” he said.
“We have the luxury of having alley access and the larger tubs that the trucks can pick up. There is no manual labor involved. They can pick up the smaller tubs … they just change the arm on the garbage truck to pick those up.
“A long, long time ago we had the metal cans that they came by and picked up. That was a long time ago.”
The city had also distributed gift cards to several departments that had come from a regional tourism promotion and run through the Baker Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture.
“The departments which were eligible were the police department, the judge’s office, the counselors, the public works and the city business office,” he said. It was part of the EPEDC and Southeast Montana Tourism – for a promotion called ‘Out Here We Care’,” the mayor said.
“The gift certificates were done through businesses in Baker and were for $25 apiece. It was a broad mix (of businesses).”
Among the other items the council discussed was on whether to buy another quarter interest in the Findlater gas well. “Baker drilled its own gas well a number of years ago and we are selling natural gas. We had another that we had a quarter interest in with two other companies. One of the companies is considering selling a quarter interest of that and we are looking into that.
“Natural gas prices right now are so low that it is really not generating anything and is costing us a little bit every month for the maintenance of that well,” the mayor said.
The company has not made an offer, so the city is just looking into the details and feasibility of it, according to the mayor. “We are just looking into their proposal.”
The city council reappointed Beth Carroll to the Board of Adjustment, with one position left to fill.
The city is still looking for people interested in applying to fill the position, the mayor said. “If anyone is interested, they should get ahold of the planners department. Training is available,” he said. The members of the board review requests for variances and non-conforming uses, hold hearings and deliberate, he explained. “The Board of Adjustments makes the decisions.”