Macon County Chronicle

RBS Council Considers 'Dumping' All Dumpsters

When the Red Boiling Springs City Council held its regular February meeting on Thursday, February 11th, it was uncertain what would be decided in regards to the several-times-tabled topic of daily, commercial trash pick-up effecting Bill Martin’s, Red Boiling Springs School and the Palace Care & Rehab.

But what was discussed by council members was the elimination of dumpster pick-ups altogether, a decision that would effect more than the three local businesses already singled-out in the daily, commercial category.

The topic of increasing daily, commercial garbage rates first came up in December of 2009 when RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis informed the council that the city was losing money by charging $225 a month, and proposed the fee be increased to $600 a month.

“The $225 just don’t cut it,” Hollis said during last week’s discussion. “It’s costing us more right now just to dump it not counting your diesel, your trucks, your tires, your labor . . . We’re paying them to dump their garbage. Lafayette doesn’t even deal with anymore. They got rid of it. And I’m just about in the same boat. If you can’t make no money at it, you just as well give it up to someone else.”

Last month, a committee was formed to look at the sanitation as a whole and find where costs could be cut in other areas but due to recent weather, committee members were unable to meet before last week’s meeting.

City Sanitation Supervisor Brian Long urged council members to cancel garbage pick up on all dumpsters, emphasizing that it would save the City money.

Council member Billy Joe Carver made the motion to do so, but City Attorney Jon Wells informed the council that the new policy would have to be made in an ordinance.

With a total of approximately nine dumpsters currently being picked up by the City of RBS, other local businesses would be affected by the proposed ordinance currently being drafted by Wells.

The ordinance will be presented to council members at a not-yet-scheduled special called meeting. 

Council members discussed the amended water purchase agreement from the City of Lafayette distributed last month, which lists Nestle Waters as a third party in the contract, and voted unanimously that the agreement will be only be accepted without a third party involved. Included in the motion was the decision to wait until next month to vote on the issue when the council will be presented the official agreement.

Nestle Waters was also a topic of discussion involving sewer meters owned by the water bottling plant, that do not allow the City’s water department full access to obtain readings. One of the meters in question is located outside on Nestle property and the second is located inside the plant.

“Are we going to continue to let these two meters that we’re having a problem with, keep going like they are, or we going to address it and fix it?” asked council member John Cook.

Mayor Hollis agreed that the limited access has caused frustration for the City.

“They’re on Nestle property, we have limited access to them, we have to have codes and people with us and all that to get to them,” he remarked. “Nestle’s not going to give us full access to them.”

It was discussed that Nestle recently had a complaint that it was charged $16,000 more than it should’ve been.

“I’m the number one supporter in Red Boiling for Nestle, but we have a responsibility to take care of this City and no one else reads their own meters and tells us what to charge and I don’t see why we’re allowing them to do it either . . . we need to have control of those two meters and read them ourselves.”

It was told that, in the past, the meters have been reset by Nestle employees before the City could take a reading, forcing the City to make an estimate and providing inaccurate information.

The council agreed to contact plant manager Tony Dexter to schedule a special called meeting to discuss options for both parties. 

The topic of city employee overtime was brought up by council member Cook during the agenda’s Any Other Business section, at which time he voiced his concern about excessive overtime and the draining of city money, and made the motion to “stop all overtime unless it’s an emergency situation approved by the Mayor.”

The motion was seconded by council member Terry Newberry, but was not approved after a vote of 4-2.

According to city employee time sheet information, some City employees have recently accrued up to 23 hours of overtime (or time and a half) in one week, the effect of weekend and night call-outs according to Supervisor Long.

Red Boiling Springs Fire Department Chief Danny Knight, spoke to council members regarding a fire engine donated from New Jersey. The council agreed to allow the fire department the funds to transport the donated engine (around $2,000).

Aside from the engine, the RBS Fire Department will be given turnout gear, ladders, extinguishers, vent fans, supply line and mobile radios and chargers.

It’s estimated that a minimum total of $25,000 worth of equipment will be given to the department, which will sign off on the $1 sale at the time of pick-up.

Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon and Upper Cumberland Development District representatives, presented council members with a draft of the CDBG application for water transmission system upgrades last Thursday night.

The draft application lists seven specific upgrades needed for the system including meter telemetry for the Lafayette-RBS meter and booster pump station, tank level telemetry for Union Camp, Oshkosh and Highway 151, upgrade to Spivey Street BPS and the addition of telemetry, upgrades to Sabin Spring WTP high service pumps, five manual independent pressure reducing valves on the distribution system north of Gibbs Crossing and finished water flow telemetry from WTPs and selected customer(s) and an overall system base station at the water system maintenance office.

The maximum amount available for the grant is $500,000 and the City of RBS will be responsible for a 4 percent match.

A resolution to begin the application to the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development for Community Development Black Grant funds was adopted, unanimously, by the council. The total cost of the project was broken down in the resolution as follows: CDBG - $500,00 + City of RBS Utility District - $35,500 = total - $535,500.

The application will be submitted on February 22nd and the City will be notified sometime between August and December if it has been awarded the grant.

In other business:

Planning Commission – Travis Browning was re-appointed as a member of the planning commission with a term to expire in August of 2012. The planning commission will now be included on each month’s city council meeting agenda for members to report findings.

Utilities – Ordinance #10-1, amending the sewer pretreatment ordinance, was passed on second and final reading. Four bids will be gathered for a new roof for the laboratory building, which is currently leaking and posing a threat to stored equipment. Specs for the new roof will be drawn up by Mayor Hollis and the project is estimated to cost less than $4,000.

City Council Financial Packages – Line items for accounts payable, receivables and outstanding purchase orders for each department will be added to the financial packets distributed to RBS City Council members.

City Vehicle – council members were presented with quotes for a 2010 truck to replace the 1985 model currently being used to spread salt within the city. Council members agreed to review the information and discuss their options at the next special called meeting.

Condolences – condolences and prayers were extended to former RBS City Council member and Mayor Ray Bilbrey for the recent loss of his wife.