Garbage collection rates to increase

Published 10:35 am Friday, February 17, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

MAPLESVILLE — A rate increase for garbage pickup in Maplesville will go into effect April 1.

The increase was approved by the town council during a meeting on Feb. 13. Council member Shelia Hall was the lone vote against.

“I felt like the citizens have had prior concerns about their sewer rate and their garbage rate being on the high side,” Hall said.

She said town residents should have received more information and explanation for the increase before a vote was made.

Rates will increase by $2.50 a month for residential customers and $5 a month for business customers. This brings the residential rate to $17.50 a month and the business rate to $40 a month.

The rate increase was proposed as a way to deal with ongoing equipment maintenance issues and retain dependable employees.

“When figures were collected for the preparation of the FY 2017 budget, it became apparent that the town would need to make changes with the garbage services because the fees collected weren’t much more than the expenses going out of the account,” town clerk Dawn Smitherman said. “The truck is older and had needed more repairs this past year.  The council has been aware of the possibility of more truck repairs or having to replace the truck in the near future.”

The cost to provide the service has also increased. At a previous meeting, the town council approved paying a flat fee of $400 per month to Maplesville Utilities Board for the billing and collection of garbage fees. Previously, the town had paid one percent of collections for the service. Town leaders estimate this new arrangement will cost the city an additional $4,200 a year.

Outsourcing garbage pickup to a private company was considered, but was not pursued at this time.

Also during the meeting, the council renewed the contract with RDS to collect the town’s sales and use tax.

The council again tabled discussion of employee raises and scheduled a work session to discuss the issue. This work session will be held Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. The council did approve the six month raise for Assistant Police Chief Keith Crosby.

Security cameras for the Street Department have been ordered. The Council took no action on a Street Department Superintendent. A decision on converting the old brown Brothers lot into a parking lot was also delayed.