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City OKs trash contract
Kids honored for Red Ribbon posters
Red Ribbon Week poster and essay contest winners, from left, Hayley Halverson Keller, 9, Dawson Mitchell, 8, Brandy Ruiz, 9, and Tobi Awe, 8, receive their awards Tuesday during the Richmond Hill City Council meeting. - photo by Photo by Hallie D. Martin

The Richmond Hill City Council unanimously renewed a garbage pickup agreement with Waste Management during its regular meeting Tuesday night.
The two-year agreement with Waste Management, based in Garden City, is set to expire Feb. 28. The new contract is good for one year.
Prices for solid waste pickup will not change. Richmond Hill residents pay around $11 per month for garbage pickup.
City Manager Mike Melton told council members they had a choice to renew the agreement for one year or to bid out the services and try to find a cheaper option. But he warned that changing companies so close to the agreement’s expiration date could cause a disruption in pickup services.
“It’s quite a bit of work and quite a bit of effort,” Melton said.
The only other company that services the Bryan County area is Republic Waste Services, Melton said, adding the city had numerous issues with Republic and left that company for Waste Management two years ago.
He recommended that the council extend the agreement with Waste Management for another year.
“Waste Management has done a good job since they’ve been on board,” he said.
Council member Van Hunter made the motion to approve the agreement with Waste Management for another year, saying it “didn’t make sense” to change companies so close to the expiration of an agreement.
Hunter did recommend looking at other options for garbage pickup closer to one month prior to an agreement’s renewal deadline.
Also during the meeting, the Richmond Hill Police Department passed out awards to the Red Ribbon Week Essay and Poster Contest winners. Red Ribbon Week, held at the end of every October, is a national drug prevention program.
Dawson Mitchell, 8, won the essay contest, and Brandy Ruiz, 9, was the runner up. Tobi Awe, 8, won the poster contest, and Haley Halverson Keller was the runner up.
The essays and posters will be on display in the police department for years to come, said Chief Billy Reynolds.
The police department also passed out Citizen Service Awards to more than two dozen members of Boy Scouts Troop 486 to honor them for assisting the department. 
In other business, Melton gave each council member his evaluation form. He asked them to fill it out, and said they can meet in a closed session at a later meeting to discuss personnel issues.
His contract is up for a one-year renewal at the end of February, he said.

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