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Council discusses mask mandate extension, bodycams and recycling

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 29, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha City council held a meeting Tuesday and on its agenda were a few big topics such as the mask mandate, recycling and funding for police body cameras and stun guns.

The Omaha Police Department (OPD) will be getting over 500 new body cameras and stun guns after the city council unanimously approved them.

The body cams, stun guns and online service used to store the video will cost over $5.5 million, with much of that coming from the police budget.

OPD says they need the cameras for public accountability and the stun guns will be more accurate than the current ones used by the department.

The recycling contract was discussed for three hours.

The council needs to pick a new recycling processor and it evaluated a bid from Nebraska Land Recycling.

The bid is supported by Mayor Jean Stothert and would cost the city roughly $2.3 million a year, for 10 years.

Opponents say the company can’t handle the bid and worry about their South Omaha location being too close to neighborhoods and a possibility of big trucks blocking traffic in the area.

Councilmembers also seem to differ on whether the contract should be 5 or 10 years.

The current processor, Firstar Fiber, is also bidding for the new contract. Some councilmembers indicated they may pay more, and go with them.

They're currently debating an extension to the mask mandate that would extend the mandate until the week of Thanksgiving which is currently set to expire in 3 weeks. A vote will tentatively take place next week.

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