The solid waste services contract was renewed early allowing household bills to be reduced by 30 cents beginning in May.
Recycling carts as big as the carts for solid waste are expected in April and will replace the bins now in use. They will have green lids. Garbage carts have black lids.
Baker was one of the first cities in Louisiana to start curbside recycling, Swacker said.
Other topics before the council included:
MEDICARE COVERAGE: The council passed a resolution allowing city employees hired before April 1, 1986, to buy into Medicare hospital insurance. In the past some young employees did not want it, but now, later in life, wish to enroll.
LUNCH AND LEARN: Civil engineer Hays Town of Baton Rouge will deliver a PowerPoint presentation at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Baker Fire Station, concerning the problem of salt-water intrusion in the Southern Hills Aquifer that supplies water to the parish. Some large industries make heavy use of the aquifer, without which drinking water may have to come from treated Mississippi River water.
Free lunch will be provided by the Baker Fire Department, Danny Edwards, chief, and sponsored by the Heritage Museum, Jean Byers, director.
GAS LINE IMPROVEMENTS: The council approved going out for bids to replace old, leaking metal gas lines, affecting Baker Heights, Buffwood, Leland and Morvant areas.
STD/HIV: Eugene Collins, regional coordinator, Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program, spoke before the council in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day which was Feb. 7.
Collins distributed information on the alarming prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV among blacks locally and nationally. Last year more than 11,000 persons were living with HIV in New Orleans and Baton Rouge; 72 percent were black. In the past five years, 81 percent of all perinatally infected infants were black.
Collins will be invited to an upcoming breakfast with Baker ministers to discuss the problem further. The best solution is complete abstinence.
RESTORATION: Volunteers are needed March 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help restore suitable conditions at Baker Heights Elementary School. Contact Mayor Harold Rideau, 778-0300, for details.
RECOGNITIONS: Frederic Taylor, 15, was recognized by the council and mayor for bowling one spare followed by 11 strikes at the Greater Baton Rouge Bowling Congress City Tournament. He is a freshman at Scotlandville Magnet High School with a 3.5 grade-point average.
Baker Police Chief Mike “Snapper” Knaps is the temporary chairman of the Louisiana Drug Control and Violent Crime Board, composed of police chiefs, sheriffs and district attorneys. He is also among the final three under consideration for being named permanent chairman.
Leslie Johnson was nominated by Lakesha Reese-Penn, principal of Baker Heights Elementary School, to become a leadership ambassador based on his outstanding scholastic merit, leadership potential and exemplary citizenship.
China Johnson announced the March 15 banquet and silent auction to celebrate today’s students, tomorrow’s STARS at Abounding Love Ministries, 7076 Hooper Road. Call (225) 356-4441 for reservations.
Project STARS offers educational, developmental and recreational services to low-income, high-risk children from kindergarten through 12th grade. STARS is an acronym for Students That Are Reaching Success.