Scott City would use grants to upgrade, add needed equipment

Monday, May 10, 2004

Scott City will be getting a recycling vehicle thanks to a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the city may be the recipient of some other upgrades if two State Emergency Management Agency grant applications are approved.

This year's grant request for a recycling vehicle, sent out in March, was Scott City's third attempt.

While the city was finally approved for the grant, not enough money was available for a new recycling vehicle, which would cost around $80,000. Instead, the city will have to purchase a used model for around $28,000, of which the city will pay 15 percent.

Even a used vehicle will be a big improvement for the city's recycling program, according to city administrator Ron Eskew.

When Scott City started its recycling program in 1999, a donated Pepsi truck, remodeled and reconfigured, was used to pick up the residents' plastic, aluminum, newspapers and tin cans.

"It eventually wore completely out," Eskew said of the Pepsi truck.

Since then, recyclable materials have been picked up and hauled away by trucks with trailers attached.

Designed for the purpose

Eskew said the vehicle the city will purchase is designed and built for curbside recycling. Among other features, the vehicle has bins for each type of recyclable material so everything is sorted before it gets to the recycling center.

"Presently we use three men, two days a week. What we found out is that with a truck designed for that purpose we can do it with two men. We know it's more economic and feasible than what we're doing now," he said.

The vehicle will be purchased after a June bid process is completed.

While the grant for the recycling vehicle was sent out in March and the city was notified in April, the SEMA grant request process will likely take a good deal longer.

In April, the city requested a $24,010 grant for six police car cameras and geographic information system hardware, software, aerial photography and assessment.

The cameras would take up $10,000 of the grant money and the rest would go toward the GIS equipment.

The request for GIS equipment for Scott City is part of a countywide effort to outfit several cities with the system for use primarily in emergency services.

GIS is like a high-tech map. It allows spatial data to be visualized, manipulated and analyzed. Multiple databases of information can be displayed visually, like the location of every fire hydrant or bridge in a city.

"Most counties are now trying to establish GIS systems for reasons of national emergencies," Eskew said. "This is a way we're helping the county. We can also use it for our own personal uses."

More powerful radios

Also for the city's use would be the cameras installed in each Scott City police vehicle.

According to Scott City Police Department spokesman Lt. Roy Butler, the cameras would allow officers to document what happens when they pull a vehicle over, which is useful if the officer is accused of inappropriate behavior or for use in court as documentation.

Another SEMA grant the city applied for last month would use $12,045 to purchase 15 Kenwood portable radios for Scott City fire, police and emergency medical services departments.

Currently there are areas in Scott City where the departments' radio frequencies cannot be picked up by their stations or by each other. The Kenwood radios are more powerful and would allow the agencies to be on the same bandwidth.

"It would make it easier for agencies to communicate with one another," Butler said.

Both SEMA grants are reimbursable grants, meaning the city would pay the total amount and then be reimbursed.

The results of both grant applications likely won't be known until September or October.

kalfisi@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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