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Sunnyside council decides on Pepsi and COLA for workers

Sun Advocate reporter

In a bit of irony, the Sunnyside City council chose COLA - a cost of living adjustment for full-time city employees - and Pepsi at their meeting on Tuesday night.

After much discussion over the last two months, the council finally settled on a decision with the much talked about soda machine with Pepsi being the chosen brand.

When posed with the question of whether the city chose Coca-Cola or Pepsi, the council broke into laughter. Due to recent coverage of the soda topic, many councilors said they have been asked by people about which brand the city is going to choose.

So to put everything to rest about the issue, Councilor Tony Riffle, who was placed in charge of researching the topic, emphatically put the issue to rest.

"It is definitely going to be a Pepsi machine," said Riffle.

Riffle said the city has gone ahead and ordered the machine and arrangements are being made to finalize everything.

The Pepsi machine is scheduled to be placed outside of the Joint Public Safety Building on the northeast side where there is an outlet and a light hanging above. With Pepsi being chosen by the council, both Sunnyside and East Carbon will now have Pepsi machines in the area. The machine in East Carbon is located in front of the ABC Learning Center.

When researching what soda brand is more popular, Riffle said he talked with the owner of the Miner's Trading Post and found that customers in the area purchase Pepsi products 5 to 1 over Coke at the store. The only Coke product that customers are buying at a high rate is Diet Coke, Riffle said.

One of the main questions councilors researched was the cost of going with Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Riffle said he checked with representatives from both Pepsi and Coke and found that both charge the same rate of 40 cents a can and that any price could be set by the city on how much the cans will cost. Riffle said that 75 cents is about the average charge for a 12 oz can it would give back 35 cents per can.

The money will be distributed with the fire departments from both Sunnyside and East Carbon and the Sunnyside ambulance each receiving a share of the profit from the product that is sold.

To split up the profits for each department, Councilor Shari Madrid suggested to the council at an earlier meeting that the profits should be split on a 30-30-40 scale, with the extra 10 percent going to whomever is taking care of filling the machine.

Another question that came up during the discussion was where the product would be stored until it was placed in the machine. One suggestion had the product being placed at the Joint Public Safety Building but councilors had concerns that some who love soda and have access to the building might take some of the product.

The council decided on storing the product at the Sunnyside City building, where it can be stored, monitored and how much of the product is being placed at the machine when it is being restocked.

The machine will be stocked with aluminum cans which the council felt was a better choice compared with plastic due to the availability of recycling the aluminum cans.

To help provide a way of discarding the cans, Riffle said he would donate a garbage can that would be placed near the machine and would be secured to the ground so it can not be tipped over.

The council also chose to incorporate a one percent increase in the COLA wages for full-time city employees. The council unanimously voted to increase the wages for the upcoming year which has been a regular occurrence with each new year.

Councilor Nola Porter asked if an increase of three percent in COLA could be a possibility, but Mayor Doug Parsons said that may not be an option. With the budget in mind, Parsons suggested that a one percent increase would easier to fit within the guidelines of the budget. While the increase in wages may not be considered very big, the council said they wanted to show appreciation for all of the hard work put in by every full-time city employee.

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