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Public gets its say on trash plan

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Mayor Dwight Tankersley's proposal for the city to spend an estimated $1.2 million to get back into the garbage pickup business and offer upgraded free yard waste pickup service will be made subject to a public hearing at city hall June 14 at 7 p.m.
Tankersley said his plan calls for the hiring of three more employees for the public works department plus an expenditure of about $1.2 million for equipment and a garbage transfer station. Included are three automated one-man operated garbage trucks at $160,000 each; 9,000 heavy duty plastic containers at $48 each; a transfer station at $191,000; and a transfer truck and trailer at $100,000.
He said the conversion would pay for itself in seven years based on the revenue being generated by the current garbage pickup rate of $9.50 per month per customer. No additional charge would be made for containerized yard waste pickup. The pickup of both garbage and yard waste in containers would be once weekly.
The city's garbage has been picked up under contract for at least 16 years. It has a history of operating with a deficit and had to be supplemented by revenue from other sources. The existing contract was negotiated with Morgan County Environmental Services in 2001 at the current rate. It will expire in mid-July.
Tankersley said it would take about six months to implement his proposal providing it is approved by the city council. Therefore, an extension of the current contract would be requested.
"Using containers and doing our own pickup would benefit our citizens in a number of ways," Tankersley said. "Keeping garbage in closed containers would help control flies and prevent scattered waste and litter caused by animals; Our boom-operated trash trucks would be used more efficiently because they wouldn't have to bother with yard waste; keeping yard waste in containers would keep it from being scattered over the streets and washed into drainage ditches; and we would be able to keep the city cleaner and safer."