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More work ahead on trash pick up; new fee suggested

Trash concerns continue to occupy city fathers’ and employees’time.

During Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen discussed difficulties due toa recent storm and the possibility of raising the monthly garbagefee to $15 to cover trash pick up costs.

“Everywhere you look on the streets there’s a pile of limbs, apile of trash,” said Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron,acknowledging storm problems.

Jimmy Furlow, filling in this week while Solid WasteSuperintendent Willie W. Smith is on military service, said crewsworked last week on clean up. This week, he said, solid waste andstreet department crews had started in Ward Three and moved up toCherokee Street.

“There is a lot of that out there, but we’re working on it justas hard as we can,” Furlow said.

City officials also mentioned continued problems with trash notbeing separated from garbage. Cameron pointed out that the city hadspent $1,100 to send notices to customers explaining thedifference.

Ward Two Alderman Terry Bates took last night’s discussion asanother opportunity to propose an increase in the monthly garbagefee.

“The money that’s allotted in the trash department is notenough,” Bates said.

He indicated additional revenue would allow the city to hiremore employees and pick up additional items. He said a $3 a monthincrease to $15 would not hurt anybody.

“You’re going to make some of them mad, but you’re going to makethe majority happy,” Bates said.

Bates said the city could be divided into four “wards” withcrews assigned to each ward to provide timely trash pick upservice.

Mayor Bob Massengill suggested the board schedule a work sessionto discuss the trash department needs and revenue situation.Aldermen tentatively scheduled a session for early July.

Also on the topic of trash, Massengill said the city’s RubbishFill #1 at the landfill is nearing capacity and has only about sixmonths of use left. Rubbish Fill #2, which has sufficient space, isused only for leaves and limbs whereas other mixed items are put inRubbish Fill #1.

Massengill said the state Department of Environmental Quality isrequiring the city to seek a new location for a rubbish fill. Themayor said two possibilities had been identified.

“This would be showing them that we’re making an honest effortto deal with this matter,” Massengill said.

Aldermen approved Massengill seeking preliminary cost estimatesfor developing each of the two sites.

In a related issue, the city will soon be getting clean up helpfrom the sheriff’s department’s inmate work crew.

Massengill said he had met with Sheriff Wiley Calcote and PoliceChief Pap Henderson regarding having four inmates work on cleaningcity ditches. The mayor said someone would be deputized to overseethe crew.

“We’ve got ditch problems all over the city,” said Massengill,adding that the supervisor had not been identified yet. “We need toget the ball rolling.”

Officials said the work crew would be trustworthy, non-violentinmates. Massengill said the city needs to get ditches in the shapethey need to be in.

“This will be one means to help us get there,” Massengillsaid.