by CYNTHIA KMETT
It was a bit of an unusual beginning to last week’s Troy City Council meeting. Soon headed to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall, where they’ll perform an original work written just for them by a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the teens came to City Hall to give council a preview of their number. The young musicians, under the leadership of Bryan Kolk, were actually there to receive a proclamation to Celebrate Troy High School Symphony Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary of its Annual Gala Concert. It must have been a great performance, observed Mayor Dane Slater, as the orchestra got a standing ovation from the teens from Athens High.
The mayor had a Proclamation in Recognition of Athens, too. The Athens High School 2016-2017 Student Council was lauded for raising $155,416.35 during Charity Week for the Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation. Regular business was pretty quiet until they got to the decision on whether or not to make lawn mowing part of the city’s green initiative. This isn’t the first step; the city has been changing the lights to LEDs over the past year, which saves a good deal of money.
“Green” lawn mowing, however, costs more because companies that are starting to use alternatives to gasoline to power the mowers have to buy new equipment. When the city went out for bids, it discovered being an environmentally friendly city would cost about $30,000 more a year. The City of Troy, after all, maintains 583.71 acres of turf.
DPW Director Kurt Bovensiep and Purchasing Director MaryBeth Murz recommended the new contract, citing: “This would save an estimated 10,000 gallons of non-sustainable gas, and would eliminate the equivalent of 846 cars worth of emissions annually.”
For the first time, the City of Troy listed the possibility of a preference for bidding companies that offered alternative energy mowers. Two firms will split the mowing, as that provides the city with a backup firm if one is not able to perform under this new “green” arrangement. Brantley Development LLC, of Inkster gets one piece of the pie and EQ Grounds LLC, of Waterford gets a larger piece, which is the more expensive of the two. They did, however, offer a five percent discount if they received a five-year contract instead of three years and two option years.
Councilmembers Ethan Baker and Dave Henderson, however, thought we might wait a bit before going green, as the equipment could well improve, other landscapers will enter the market.
But the vote was 4-2 in favor of the change, with Baker and Henderson voting no, and Paul McCown, a brand new father, absent.
McCown did note on Facebook that he got to watch part of the meeting because AT&T is now broadcasting the city channel.
Council also approved an updated contract with Alliance Mobile Health.
On October 24, 2016, Troy City Council approved Standard Purchasing Resolution #2016-10-180 to award a contract to provide Emergency Medical and First Responder Services for the City of Troy to Alliance Mobile Health of Troy, MI, for a total estimated annual amount of $490,089.60. The contract expires December 31, 2019.
The City Attorney’s Office, Fire Department, Police Department, and Purchasing Department have all been working together to efficiently streamline all of the City’s agreements with Alliance into one formal contract. This one agreement now includes provisions relating to the Troy Police Department’s tactical support team training, and blood draws conducted at the Police Department. Because the final agreement includes a blood draw provision, it was necessary to wait for the approval of the Oakland County Medical Control Authority’s revised blood draw protocol which is effective as of March 1, 2017.