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Litter cans returning downtown, Boulevard

Litter cans will be returning to downtown street corners andBrookway Boulevard, but city officials warned Tuesday that use ofthe receptacles should not be abused.

Aldermen voted 5-1 at last night’s board meeting to put the cansback out on downtown street corners and on Brookway Boulevard.Alderman-at-large Les Bumgarner requested the downtown can return.and Ward 5 Alderman Tom Smith asked they be put back on theboulevard.

“If we do them one place, we’ve got to do them every place,”added Mayor Bill Godbold.

The cans were taken up shortly after the city discontinuedcommercial garbage pick-up service at the end of January. Someresidents and business owners complained that the absence of thecans was an inconvenience to shoppers.

Officials cited abuse of the cans, such as people using them todispose of household garbage rather than just soda cans and cups,as a reason for taking them up. Similar concerns were raised againlast night.

“If we eliminate everything that’s being abused, we wouldn’thave anything,” said Bumgarner, who owns a men’s clothing store onWest Cherokee Street.

Bumgarner asked citizens to monitor use of the cans and reportany abuse. Ward 6 Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen agreed.

“If we know who’s dumping in them, we can do something aboutit,” Allen said.

Citing abuse concerns, Ward 2 Alderman Terry Bates opposed themotion and Ward 3 Alderman the Rev. Jerry L. Wilson was not presentfor last night’s meeting.

Godbold said the city would have to purchase new cans, which heestimated would take about a week to get.

“The ones we got are all beat up and raggedy-looking,” the mayorsaid.

Godbold repeated the warning that residents should not abuse useof the cans.

“If they do, we’re in trouble again,” the mayor said.

RESIDENTS PETITION

In other business Tuesday, Bumgarner presented a petition fromseveral West Chickasaw Street residents concerned about trafficaround Brookhaven Elementary School.

“They come driving through there pretty fast,” Bumgarnersaid.

One suggestion was to put speed bumps on the street between theschool and Highway 51. However, Police Chief Pap Henderson saidthose were not allowed.

Henderson said board members had raised the issue in the past,yet his department had received no contact from the public.

“I don’t know why y’all get complaints, and we never getanything at the police department,” Henderson said.

Henderson said there is a four-way stop at every intersection onWest Chickasaw Street and Highway 51, and he questioned whethermotorists could get up to a high speed between the stops. He saidhe would be glad to work with the board and have officers monitortraffic flow in that area.

PAVING WORK

Also regarding streets Tuesday, Associate City Engineer HughLong said bids for paving of the airport runway and downtownstreets should be ready to be advertised by late August. The pavingprocess could then begin the next month.

“Hopefully, they’ll be laying asphalt by mid-September or so,”Long said.

GARBAGE UPDATE

In addition to downtown litter cans, board members also acted onseveral other garbage matters.

Aldermen approved contract with solid waste consultant ButchLambert for him to help the city seek proposals from privatecompanies to handle city garbage service. The contract calls forLambert to be paid $10,000 for his services.

Officials are considering a switch to private collection servicedue to the city-run service losing money.

In another garbage-related matter, aldermen voted to proceedwith a public hearing process against a Seventh Street homeownerwhere a large pile of garbage had accumulated in front of the home.By going through the process, the city can clean up the propertyand then charge cost of the service to the landowner.

“You’ve just got to take it on a case by case basis,” said CityAttorney Joe Fernald after aldermen mentioned some other problemareas.