Denver, Colorado 2021-09-14 12:34:54 –
Environmental Hazmat Services, which treats the most dangerous waste during cleanup, will continue to work with the city until 2023.
Despite long hearings and complaints from numerous members, the Denver City Council has approved an additional two years in the contract with a company to help the city clear the camp.
The contract with Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) was approved Monday night 11-2, with councilors Jamie Torres and Kandy Kudebaka as the only supporters.
“I think it’s important for us to be careful. We have no choices and no Plan B,” said Councilor Chris Herndon. “If we (if we vote against the contract), it would be months without this important service.”
The approved contract extends the city’s contract with EHS, which was previously set to expire on October 10, until 2023. The company has contracted with the city since 2018 and has received $ 1.57 million in services. EHS President Marty Green did not attend the hearing.
The contract amendment included mandatory city-run sensitivity training for employees and the addition of an additional checklist to ensure that the cleanup was complete. EHS employees are also prohibited from interacting with the general public during cleaning.
Proponents, primarily from Denver Homeless Outloud and Headwaters Protectors, brought up a number of issues and supporting documents during public comments. The main concern is that the cleaned area still contains sharp dangers such as debris and needles, workers are insensitive or rude to the individuals they are removing their property from, and the company is off duty. Police officers as storage facility guards arose from their claim to overcharge the city to use the police.
“We’re frankly talking about renewing contracts for organizations that have been abused by our homeless community,” said Vendoring, one of the founders of Denver Homeless Outloud. He told the council, insisting that it should surge. “It’s not easy, but we need to do it, because the damage these people are doing to their lives continues to grow.”
Ultimately, the responsibility for leaving a clean site rests with the city agency that leads the cleanup, not the EHS. These agencies include Denver’s Department of Transportation Infrastructure (DOTI), the City’s Department of Public Health and Environment, and Parks and Recreation.
“When we heard of complaints and accusations, we called the contractors and had a very direct conversation with them,” DOTI’s Margaret Medellín told the council. “This is not an acceptable behavior for the city.”
Proponents, councilors, and other councilors have largely agreed that campsites need to be cleaned and public roads safe. The controversy at the conference depended on whether EHS was the right vendor to support city agencies.Many activists wanted the city to cancel the contract as well. Last year, an employee broke his relationship with Allied Security after beating a Denver artist at Union Station.
A storage facility where individuals living in the camp can collect their belongings was also a big topic for supporters. Municipal facilities are currently open four days a week from 6 am to 8:30 am and an additional 6 hours on Thursdays.
Off-duty officers hired for security at these facilities were claiming four hours of payment, but their shifts were usually only stated to be two and a half hours long. Armed with data from CORA documents, advocates proved that the city is paying for 28 hours of security, even though the storage facility was only open for 16 hours.
Most of the turmoil stemmed from the requirement for off-duty officers to receive a minimum of four hours of wages, which councilors said was reasonable. Instead, they wondered why the facility simply didn’t stay open for the four hours paid to the officers.
City extends contract with the agency doing encampment sweeps Source link City extends contract with the agency doing encampment sweeps