KOUTS | In the Christmas spirit, the Kouts Council played a little Santa Claus and a little Grinch on Monday.
It started with Clerk-Treasurer Laurie Tribble announcing that, beginning Jan. 1 when the town's contract with Richards Disposal, of North Judson, takes effect, residents will see a $2.45 reduction in their trash, leaf pickup and recycling bill each month to $15.27.
Residents will notice the difference on February utility bills. Tribble said Richards will be delivering new trash and recycling bins to residents over the weekend. Although the town sought bids on every-other-week recycling pickup to try to lower the cost, Richards's bid was the same for both and was the lowest bid received.
The council also approved contracts for the coming year with Engineer James Mandon and Town Attorney Robert Schwerd at the same rate as this year, $15,975 for Mandon and $7,500 plus $100 an hour for Schwerd.
A contract with MCO for the operation of the town's sewer, water and streets departments was approved with a 1.2 percent increase. Tribble said the total for the year will be about $214,000, depending on insurance costs.
Finally, the council voted to resume condemnation on the small parcel next to the Chase Bank across the street from the Town Hall. The town wants to use the parcel for a downtown park and had halted a previous condemnation action when it appeared an agreement had been reached with the bank.
Tribble said the bank had stopped responding to the town's calls, forcing the resumption of condemnation.