Lyft, Uber and DoorDash are all services Metropolis residents are interested in utilizing, but don’t have access to.
Alderman Al Wagner broached the subject Monday night when near the close of the Metropolis City Council meeting he asked about the progress on the Lyft app, noting how advantageous those services would be for visitors to the Superman Celebration.
Corporate counsel Rick Abell noted the subject was researched a few years ago among the city, Harrah’s and the Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“At the time, we learned the Lyft app wasn’t working here, although there is a driver here. We found out we weren’t included in any region of their’s. They eventually came back and said we weren’t big enough, they weren’t assigning a regional manager and that was the end of the discussion,” he said.
Abell noted the council amended the taxicab ordinance in 2018 so ride-sharing services can more easily operate here.
In the time since that initial research, Abell said the Lyft app does work in “very odd places” around town.
Mayor Don Canada noted DoorDash was asked about coming to Metropolis. “They won’t come either. We just don’t have enough people to use it or restaurants that would use it. We’re not at the level yet we need to be at to get those people put out the money to come over here,” he said.
Abell is revisiting the services and recently contacted Uber, which according to its website serves southern Illinois.
“We have a contact with Uber corporate and will see what we can learn about that,” he said. “We’re still working on it.”
Deena Williams, executive director of Shawnee Development Council, informed the council about Operation Healthy Delta.
SDC and Missouri’s Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation (DAEOC) are partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Military’s Reserve Forces to bring the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program to the region.
The medical mission improves military readiness by providing trained military medical personnel with in-field emergency response training while simultaneously providing quality health care services to residents ages 2 and up. Uninsured or underinsured residents in need of quality health care may seek treatment. No proof of insurance or identification is required.
The 70 military personnel will be in Metropolis from June 11-25 and housed at Massac County High School.
The no-cost medical, dental and vision screenings will be offered June 15-21, with hours varying from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m., 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and noon until 5 p.m., at the high school. School physicals will also be provided at no cost to the student. Participants will have to wear a mask. For more information, call 618-634-2201.
“There are no restrictions, no paperwork will be asked for, no insurance. It’s a first-come, first-served basis,” Williams said. “This is a one-time only opportunity. We encourage people who are interested or if they know someone who really needs dental help, that is a service that is most limited.”
Shawnee Development Council first got involved with the program two years ago and held the event at Cairo High School, “and it was amazing. It is an amazing program. I’m glad we got involved with it. You have a wonderful opportunity coming to your town.”
Shawnee Development Council, Inc., is a non-profit Community Action agency serving Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties.
Williams also updated the council on Shawnee Development Council’s activities for the last two years.
“We work very closely here in town with low-income individuals, offering them services out of our office,” she said. “Last year, we had 495 households that came through, which was a little low because we did have to close for a little bit and helped people remotely due to COVID. So far this year, from January through May, we’ve helped 161 households.”
In other business, the council:
• Approved the purchase two 72-inch Big Dog Diablo mowers from Linwood Kubota for $20,179.
• Approved appointing the next qualified applicant to the position of fire chief/emergency management manager. Mayor Don Canada explained the emergency management manager will be retiring and for the city to keep its accreditation, he is blending the two responsibilities “and keeping it all in-house.” He noted three applications have been received.
• Approved the purchase of real estate located at 1601 Scott St. from the Massac Tax Agent.
• Approved seeking bids for sale of real estate at 1809 Baynes St. Abell noted the purchase of the property was approved by the council in November, and it has taken six months to receive the deed. He noted the property is adjacent to others the city has recently sold.
• Ratified the appointment of Karen McFall as city treasurer. The council approved the hiring of McFall at its May 10 meeting.
• Approved the purchase of a new air conditioning unit for the Metropolis Police Department, to be ratified at the next meeting.
• Was introduced to new Metropolis Public Library director Rosemary Baxter by library board president Rhonda James. Baxter provided an update on the library’s programs, including the Summer Reading Program, which starts in June and is already full. She said a second day to offer the program is being discussed. A Back to School Bash is planned for Aug. 6. The library is currently open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Baxter said her goal to be open on Saturdays is in July; however, “we need to hire a couple more people to make that happen, so we are taking applications.”
• Heard a thank you note from 2021 MCHS graduate Lily Conkle for the city matching her Illinois Municipal Utilities Association scholarship.
City hall will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
The council’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, June 14. The meeting is scheduled to be preceded by a finance committee meeting and an ordinance committee meeting.