Still no city garbage decision

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday continued to consider possibleprivatization of city solid waste services but did not reach adecision following a closed door discussion on the topic.

“We’ll be back on the 20th (the next board meeting date),” saidSolid Waste consultant Butch Lambert following the executivesession that was held due to pending litigation in connection withthe city’s annexation trial. The session lasted over an hour.

City Attorney Joe Fernald said there was no recommendation madeon the solid waste issue and no action taken by the board. Lambertsaid the board was considering some tough choices in relation tothe struggling garbage operation.

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“It’s a hard decision, but they’re trying to look at what’s bestfor the citizens of Brookhaven and that their costs don’t go up,”Lambert said.

Lambert said there had been no changes in proposals he discussedduring a Dec. 16 board meeting. Depending on garbage collectionoptions, whether once or twice a week pick up and whether garbageand trash are picked up together or separately, the proposals couldsave the city as much as $400,000 a year.

Some city officials have expressed a desire to maintain city-runservices. Fees collected for those services, however, are notcovering expenses.

Lambert said Tuesday the city was looking for ways to get itselfin a good cash position regarding solid waste. He indicated thatwas not happening with current operations.

“The bottom line is the city can’t stay like it is,” Lambertsaid. “They’ve got to make some changes for the better.”

The executive session was necessary, Fernald said, because ithad to do with contract discussions and how solid waste serviceswould be affected by annexation. Fernald said there was testimonyduring the annexation trial about the city’s ability to handlesolid waste services.

The trial, which started in November, has been recessed untilJan. 26. It is expected to be concluded by Jan. 30.