City will consider options to privatize garbage pick up
From solid waste proposals to ongoing city projects, Brookhavenofficials handled a variety of topics during a lengthy regularboard meeting Tuesday night.
With the city facing a deficit solid waste picture, officialsheard from Buford Clark, of Waste Management Inc., and W.K. Perry,of BFI Inc., regarding their companies submitting proposals toprivatize garbage pick up services. The representatives said theircompanies could tailor services to city needs, but those needs mustbe determined before the city seeks proposals.
“This board needs to decide what they want us to propose on,”Clark said.
Both companies said they use the consumer price index todetermine cost increases in garbage contracts. BFI currently hascontract with Lincoln County for garbage collection.
“We charge for collection, and they pay for disposal,” Perrysaid.
Alderman at large Les Bumgarner questioned how commercial userswould be treated if the city changed.
If a business generates garbage similar to that of a residence,Clark said they would receive the residential rate. He alsoindicated, though, that most cities are not handling commercialcustomers, which have no incentive to reduce garbage if they aregetting a good rate from the city.
“Eventually, they need to stand by themselves,” Clark said.
While discussing service possibilities, Perry and Clark saidthey would need specifications from the city.
“Everything you put in the specs is going to cost you,” MayorBill Godbold warned aldermen.
In other business Tuesday, aldermen discussed the Brookhavenresidency of long-time Parks Commission Chairman Roland Wall, whowas asked to be a last night’s meeting but did not appear.
Following residency questions at the last meeting, Bumgarnersaid last night that Wall visits a twin brother and sister inClinton on the weekends. While Wall’s Storm Avenue home is forsale, Bumgarner said Wall is maintaining his residency inBrookhaven.
“He has no intention of moving,” Bumgarner said.
Ward 2 Alderman Terry Bates said there had been rumors of Wall’shome sale. He said he was not trying to remove Wall from thecommission, but wanted to ensure city rules regarding boardappointments were followed.
“If it’s the law, fine,” Bates said.
While also mentioning rental possibilities, Bumgarner defendedWall by saying home ownership was not a requirement for cityresidency.
“You can be homeless and be a resident of Brookhaven,” Bumgarnersaid.
Ward 3 Alderman the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson will contact andrequest Wall be at the next board meeting. If Wall does not show,Wilson said the board could “go a little farther” on the situation,but he did not elaborate on the meaning of that statement.
In other activity Tuesday:
* Aldermen heard from Bennie Hutchins regarding anupcoming tree-planting project.
Hutchins said the city has received a $13,740 UrbanForestry and Transportation Enhancement Grant to plantapproximately 400 trees along East Monticello Street from HamiltonStreet the arts school, on Highway 51 from Brookway Boulevard toIndustrial Park Road and on Industrial Park Road from North JacksonStreet to the sport complex. Hutchins said the trees will bedelivered by Feb. 19 and the deadline for having them planted isApril 15.
* Derrick Tucker, with Engineering Associates, updatedofficials on work regarding an access road for the new Epcofacility in the Industrial Park. The city has received a $137,000state grant to build the road, but Tucker expressed some concernsabout road density and a need for a sewer line under the road to bereplaced.
Aldermen agreed to seek quotes on the estimated $2,500to $3,000 cost of new PVC sewer line and steel to encase the line.Bids will also be sought for a contractor to do the installationwork.
“Epco is really pushing for this,” Tucker said in urgingcity officials to act quickly on the road work.
* Tucker also received city approval to seek bids for anew Whitworth Fire Loop to improve water services around the campusthat is the site of the Mississippi School of the Arts. Theengineer said plans for the project are awaiting state healthdepartment approval, which is expected soon.
* In an effort to prevent damage after a long-awaitedFirst and Second Street paving project is completed, aldermenapproved the $3,500 to $4,000 purchase of signs to keep log trucksoff the streets. The signs would divert heavy traffic to Highway 51to Industrial Park Road and to Highway 184 and Belt LineDrive.
City Attorney Joe Fernald questioned how an ordinancecould be written to prevent log trucks from making deliveries toColumbus Lumber Company while still allowing other heavy trucks tomake deliveries to other city businesses.
“I don’t see how you can write and ordinance to coverthat,” Fernald said.
Tucker indicated the Mississippi Department ofTransportation could offer guidance in that regard.
* After some discussion, aldermen approved Godbold’ssigning a letter stating that two homeowners’ concerns aboutcurrent HOME grant project work had been resolved. The signingshould allow the city to close the project and then be eligible toapply for new funds to rebuild dilapidated homes in thecity.
Wilson has been a strong advocate of the program. Hesaid the city needed to close out the current project so it couldmake an April 15 deadline to seek new funds.
“If we delay and procrastinate, we won’t get it,” Wilsonsaid.
* Aldermen accepted an offer from the Mississippi StateHospital to sell an additional 4.5 acres to the state for a plannedmental health crisis center. The sale price of the land on BrookmanDrive Extension was $90,120.
* Following an executive session for pending litigation,land purchase negotiations and personnel, aldermen gave three citystreet department employees until Monday to secure driver’slicenses. The employees are violation of city ordinances withoutthe licenses, city officials said.