Starting July 1, all Crisp County residents will have curbside household garbage service. Commissioners agreed to enter into a contract with Advanced Disposal of Cordele at their Tuesday meeting and set the total monthly fee for household customers at $11.87.
Also during the meeting, commissioners upped county water bills $3.50 per month so there will be enough money in the fund to take care of ongoing maintenance of the tanks on Hwy. 300 and Hwy. 280 W.
County governors had met in a work session Monday morning to go over five proposals that were submitted by trash haulers from as far away as Abbeville, AL. Two of the bidders were not interested in billing customers themselves, so they were quickly disqualified.
Of the three remaining, the local company which already services both the city of Cordele and Dooly County, had the low bid. For once weekly garbage pickup and twice monthly yard waste collection, Advanced Disposal offered a monthly fee of $11.37. Commissioners opted to add a 50 cent surcharge since the county will be responsible for collecting the fee should a customer not pay the hauler. “That will require at least two letters,” County Administrator Tom Patton said.
Should the city of Arabi also decide to initiate curbside service, its residents can be included in the county’s contract provided there is an intergovernmental agreement between the entities.
If a customer wants an additional 95-gallon polycart, an extra $5 will be assessed each month. Arrangements also can be made for larger roll-off containers where there are groups of dwellings in close proximity, farming operations or commercial enterprises. The fee for the larger containers will be more.
Concerns expressed at the work session included the possibility of more illegal dumping once dumpsters are removed from the roadsides and yard waste being placed at curbside even when the property owner has other means of disposal.
Patton explained that 80% of communities in the U. S. already have curbside service, and historically, that does not lead to more illegal dumping. Should Crisp County residents have more trash than will fit in the polycart during a given week, they will be able to take that waste to the landfill site and dispose of it at no additional cost.
They also will be able to carry furniture, appliances and other large items to the landfill site.
Patton re-emphasized the liability issue the county has at the existing dump sites. The containers are rusting out and need replacing, he said.
“We’re doing what’s right financially for Crisp County,” Commissioner Clark Henderson said. His motion to contract with Advanced Disposal was approved by the board unanimously Tuesday morning.
Currently, Crisp residents in unincorporated areas are paying a special district property tax for garbage collection. That will cease when curbside service is started.
Patton explained that major repairs are needed in several of the county’s water tanks, and currently the water fund is barely breaking even. “There is no extra money for maintenance,” he added, “and we need to complete repairs on the tanks.” Contracts with Utility Service Co. Inc. of Perry to repair the tanks on Hwy. 300 and Hwy. 280 W. were approved for a total of $282,500 which will be paid over a three year period.
Maintenance fees totaling $24,600 will be paid for the next four years, then county governors will consider renewing those contracts.
Also, during Tuesday’s meeting, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett presented a preliminary FY2014 budget which still is out of balance by $200,000. “We plan to bring a balanced budget to you in June, then formally pass it in July,” Leverett said. There is slightly more than $13 million in expenses in the general fund, but only about $12.8 million in revenues. Last year’s general fund budget totaled $12.97 million.
“We started with $2 million more in expenses than revenues,” Leverett explained. “So, we’ve made a lot of progress getting the shortfall down to $200,000.” State law requires that county governments balance their budgets each year.
In other business, commissioners:
• Set the qualifying fee for a special election to choose a new Crisp County probate judge. Qualifying will be conducted from Monday, June 24 through Friday, June 28, and the election will be held in conjunction with city elections Nov. 5. The fee is $1,491.65 which is 3% of the base salary. Former Probate Court Judge Belinda Griffin retired earlier in the year, necessitating the special election.
• Accepted a $500,000 Employment Incentive Program grant to be used to build a rail spur to serve the Stella Jones company which will provide 50 new jobs.
• Increased rental fees for the recreation department multi-purpose room from $175 to $250 and for the recreation department gym from $125 to $150.
• Established weekly rates for summer camp at CCRD at $60 for Crisp residents and $75 for non-residents.
• Learned that 48 local kids from the CCRD participated in state track competition this past weekend and brought home 50 medals including one state championship.
• Approved a bid of $161,698 from the Miller Group of Morrow for resurfacing Old Nesbitt Rd.
• Okayed a $101,650 bid from Peek Pavement Markings for signage and striping on various roads in the county.