Brad Meyer, director of public works, came before the El Dorado Board of City Commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16 to discuss the results of the recent recycling survey that was sent out last month. The public works department sent out 4,200 surveys, and about 1,900 were returned.

"This allowed us to gauge the public's comments – their thoughts, et cetera – about our recycling programs," Meyer said.

Keeping the recycle program will prevent the materials from going into the landfill but could decrease the city's public works fund balance for waste services. Getting rid of the recycle program will increase the amounts going to the landfill and will likely create the need for a second trash cart at most households.

Responses to the survey are as follows:

Are you willing to pay for curbside recycling? 844 yes, 1082 no If yes, are you willing to pay an additional $3 to $5 per month for the service? 820 yes, 731 no

In light of the current situation with the city's recycling programs and the related survey responses, Meyer presented four possible options for trash and recycling going forward. After some discussion, the board of city commissioners settled on the second option, which costs $15.75 per month and is a dollar more than the current monthly price for services. The $1 increase covers the new expense to move recycle material.

"Option number two, again, everything [related to] services provided would stay the same," Meyer said.

Those services are:

a trash cart, with weekly collection of residential trash a recycle cart, with weekly collection of residential recyclables allowing people to have an additional trash cart for $6.50 a month if they desire an extra one large, bulky residential cardboard pick up spring clean-up fall clean-up cart assembly, repair and distribution (including turn-on's or turn-off's for new customers) cart and dumpster replacement compost site operations

The pro's of option number two are that it does not spend down fund balance, it stabilizes recycle material expenses and keeps recycle material out of the landfill. The con is the slight raise in cost. This change in waste services will be monitored during FY 2018, and a subsequent report will be prepared in early FY 2019 for a FY 2020 change if needed.

Later in the meeting, the city commission selected Greggory Lewis as vice-mayor for the year 2018. Chase Locke, who no longer serves on the board of commissioners, was the previous vice-mayor.

The board also recognized Jim Gardner for serving 12 years as the youth commission advisor, from 2005 to 2017. He was presented with a plaque of appreciation.

"You know, Jim, this is kind of ironic for me – being my high school government teacher," Mayor Vince Haines said. "So this has been an interesting road, and thank you for that .... From high school class, to National History Day to everything that was in government, thank you for those years of service. And thank you, also, for the years of service to the youth commission, which has been a valuable program for us in terms of getting youth engaged and educated on what's going on in the municipal government. And so, for that, we thank you."

El Dorado residents attended the meeting to voice their opinions for or against the rezoning of seven lots in the Adlesperger-Smith Addition from R-1 Low Density Residential District to R-2 Medium Density Residential District. Randy Dean wanted to build duplexes on lots owned by Don Adlesperger, which would require the rezoning. The lots are located near the intersection of West Finney Avenue and South Emporia Street.

The current zoning, R-1, allows single-family, residential developments and limited institutional uses, such as churches and schools with a special use permit. R-2 allows the same uses with the addition of two-family residential developments, or duplexes.

After hearing the concerns of people who live in the addition area, the board of city commissioners went against the recommendation of the planning commission and denied the rezoning. Residents who spoke up at the meeting explained that, when they bought their houses, they were under the impression that only single-family homes – and not duplexes – would be in their neighborhood, citing the current zoning. Other concerns, such as possible traffic congestion, were discussed as well.

At the city commission meeting on Jan. 8, the following appointments were made:

Haines was sworn in for his second term on the board of commissioners. Matt Guthrie was sworn in for his first term on the board, replacing Locke. Nick Badwey was sworn in for his third term on the board. Deputy Fire Chief Tony Yaghjian was promoted to that position from captain, as the position was originally held by El Dorado's new fire chief, Joe Haag. Jacob McKee and Dustin Hatfield were sworn in as two new firefighters.