Members of the Houston City Council approved a new trash contract and stalled an effort Monday to make changes to the personnel manual until a comprehensive overhaul can be made.
WCA, the current provider, received a one-year contract extension. As part of its administrative responsibilities, the city will receive an additional 5 percent for the service of overseeing the $30,000 monthly billing. The city’s take will increase from 5 percent to 10 percent.
The council also decided to do a more detailed update to the city’s employee manual after changes were presented by Mayor Don Tottingham. The changes, drafted by the city attorney, outlined the employee termination process and separate reference was made to the city’s ordinance that outlines employment and termination of the city administrator.
In other matters, members:
—Reviewed proposals as the council considers going to a paperless system for its workflow. The city would purchase tablets or iPads, with or withhold data plans. No decisions have been made on the purchase of the equipment for council, office staff and some managers. The group may explore the availability of a Walmart grant to pay $2,000 of the cost.
The cost drew a response from a former councilman, Don Romines, who said potential costs of $25,000 over two years seemed high and wondered how many already had devices anyway. He told the council it had fiscal responsibility to spend money wisely and noted city sales tax and electrical revenue are down.
—Delayed action on the city’s payroll payment until a closed session, upon a recommendation from Alderman Donnie Wilson.
—Donated $250 to the Houston Imagination Library, which provides books to children ages one month to five years in the Houston School District.
—Learned that the city had received grant approval for a $63,000 application filed by former Water-Sewer Superintendent Jerry Jackson. The city’s share is $13,000 and will address infiltration into the wastewater plant.
—Heard that the city is sponsoring a “Power Week” coloring contest at Houston Elementary School.
—Adjourned into a closed session to discuss an offer to purchase or lease the nine-hole Oakwood Country Club. No votes were taken. A public hearing in August kicked off the process.