MIAMI – The final tally on the recent citywide cleanup came in at 287 trash loads, or 268 tons.

That’s compared to 320 loads last year.

Breaking things down, there were 16 tons of yard waste (11 last year), and 831 tires (considerably less than last year’s 1,312) being removed from neighborhoods in Miami and put into proper waste disposal areas, according to City Manager Dean Kruithof at the City Council meeting Tuesday, April 8.

Mayor Rudy Schultz and the council members had high praise for the completion of such a monumental task to help beautify Miami.

In other matters, the council approved the purchase of 30 Nomex Hoods (fire protective gear) by the Fire Department, and a contract amendment with Ann’s Flowers & Gifts for maintenance of the war graves at G.A.R. Cemetery.

Council members also approved allowing staff to adjust the Purchase Power Adjustment (PPA) to reflect the GRDA's recent rate change. Miami’s GRDA power fuel costs include gas, coal, hydro and wind.

When the city began purchasing all power from the GRDA there was no cost for fuel. The GRDA later added a fuel cost and a new rate took effect April 1.

Jill Fitzgibbon reported that the city is working on updating its customer service manual. During the process, it was discovered that the right of entry ordinance regarding utilities had been removed with the intention of adding it to another section, but the change had not been completed.

This right of entry ordinance allows meter readers and workers onto customers’ property to read meters and to access Utility Department equipment to make repairs. The change in the manual was approved.

The council also approved adding to the manual the already established ordinance covering a $25 fee that is imposed on customers when their checks or credit card payments are not honored by their financial institution.

Also regarding customer accounts, Fitzgibbon reported that if a customer’s account is sent to collections for non-payment, the usual process is for a fee to be charged.

However, sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that could result in the fee being waived.

The council approved these cases being reviewed by Kruithof and reported to the council in regular staff reports.

Kruithof announced that the annual city budget meeting will be held on April 23 at 5:30 p.m. and, if necessary, continue on April 24 and 25.

Kruithof also said Rodeo Miami tickets are on sale now for the event scheduled for May 3 and 4. Tickets are sponsored by the Quapaw Casino and can be purchased at the Miami CVB Visitor Center (111 N. Main) or at Westco Home Furnishings locations in Miami, Vinita, Grove, Neosho, Missouri, and Columbus, Kansas.