Dearing residents will be getting a new bill in their mailbox starting in July, but it's all in an effort to improve living conditions in the town. At a special called meeting Monday evening, town council members voted on a trash pick-up fee for town residents and signed a three-year contract with Advanced Disposal for the service.
"People are going to complain because they've never paid before," Mayor Sean Kelley said during the meeting. "But they're still not paying taxes and we've got to stop going in the hole. It's not a money-maker for us. ... and when we stop going in the hole, we can start focusing on other projects."
Currently, Dearing residents receive free trash pick-up serviced by McGahee Sanitation and paid by the town. For quite a while, council members have been discussing implementing a fee for the service because it costs the town over $20,000 annually.
In their February regular meeting, the town council opened bids for trash pick-up within the town limits from McGahee Sanitation, the City of Thomson and Advanced Disposal, with Advanced Disposal's price $1.11 cheaper than the second lowest bidder.
The council voted to use Advanced Disposal at their March meeting, and worked with the company to draw up a contract for weekly pick-up service. A yard waste pick-up service was added for the months of June through November, with the town absorbing the extra costs involved.
During their work session, council members figured the expenses involved and voted to charge each address $12 monthly for the service, which begins July 1. The amount will be included on each water/sewerage bill, and is not optional. The penalty for non-payment will be termination of water service to the address.
Council members Kristopher Wells and Judson Story were not present at the called meeting to vote on the issue, which passed unanimously. Twelve dollars was the lowest of the fees discussed, and Councilman Allen Axon stressed that it is just to cover expenses and not make a profit for the town.
"Twelve dollars may not be a lot to me or you, but it is for some folks," Councilwoman Daisy Ansley said during the discussion.
Even though the fee is new, council members acknowledged that it is a savings from the $20 monthly that county residents pay.
All town residents will receive a new trash cart. The old cart currently being used will be left at the residence to use for yard debris. Pick-up service will be every Wednesday. Advanced Disposal representatives will deliver the new carts along with fliers and information on the do's and don'ts for yard waste.
- New trash service for Dearing town residents to begin July 1 through Advanced Disposal.
- Pick-up is every Wednesday.
- Yard waste pick-up is included during the months of June through November.
- Monthly fee of $12 to be added to water/sewerage bill.
- New cans will be issued and old ones will be left to use for yard waste.