Council eyes trash fee to help pay pick up cost
August 15, 2019
Two ordinances, one dealing with trash pickup and a second to raise garbage rates $5 per month to help pay for the trash pickup were tabled Monday night by the Flomaton Town Council until new ordinances could be written to simply move the $5 increase to a separate line item on utility bills received by Flomaton residents.
Utilities Superintendent Shaun Moye said the trash ordinance was designed to let the public know what the town trash truck would pickup and what it would not pick up. He also said it states that the town would not be responsible for picking up debris in front of houses that were put there by contractors. He said they've had problems in the past where contractors cut trees and other items at a person's house then piled it at the street for the town to pick up. He said the trash pickup was designed for ordinary yard debris collected by the homeowner and placed at the curb.
“Our issue is the cost,” Moye said. “It's costing the town a lot of money picking up trash and the use of the dumpster (behind town hall).”
Mayor Dewey Bondurant Jr., talked about a recent incident where a contractor cut trees for someone and placed it at the curb. The town later agreed to pick it up at a cost of $250 to the homeowner, but said it cost the town $800 to pick it up and dispose of it.
“We're not charging enough for our trash pickup,” Bondurant said.
Moye noted the town has never charged the residents of Flomaton for the trash pickup.
“We've never charged for debris,” Moye said. “We are steadily going into the hole because nobody is paying for it.”
The ordinance presented called for about a $5 per month increase in garbage that would raise the residential rate from $17.50 per month to $22.38 per month for one can provided by Republic Services.
That $5 increase would allow residents to have one scoop of trash and yard debris be picked up curbside once a month at no cost. A second scoop would be an additional $25.
Councilman Buster Crapps said they needed a sheet that spelled out what the trash truck would and would not pick up. Moye said that is outlined in the other ordinance.
Crapps also said if a contractor leaves debris for the town to pickup “they need to be busted”.
Moye also said the ordinance outlines that people need to call town hall to say they need trash pickup instead of the trash truck riding around town looking for trash.
Moye noted that he lives in Century and the council there raised the rate $10 to handle trash pickup.
“I didn't like it because I didn't use it,” Moye said.
“I'm not for raising anything,” Councilman Crapps said.
Councilwoman Lillian Dean also said some residents are paying more than others because when the town raises sewer rates, everybody in the town is not on the sewer.
Moye noted there are some places in Flomaton where sewer is not available, but did agree that in those areas where sewer is available, residents should have to hook up.
Councilman Charlie Reardon noted that the last time Republic Services went up on garbage rates in Flomaton the council absorbed the increase.
“Garbage is losing money,” Bondurant said. “We've used that trash truck for five years and have not charged for it.”
“We provide the service and nobody pays for it,” Moye said.
Dean questioned why the town couldn't simply have people call for trash pickup and charge them instead of making the increase across-the-board and charging people who don't use the trash pickup.
Councilman Roger Adkinson asked if there was anyway to separate the trash pickup and garbage pickup on the bill.
The council agreed that the trash pickup should be a separate line item on the bill with all residents paying the $5. However, both the garbage and trash ordinances were tabled in order to make changes and will be voted on at the next regular meeting.