Macon County Chronicle

RBS Sanitation Debate Tabled Yet Again

The Red Boiling Springs City Council met in regular session on Thursday, May 14, with hopes of coming to a consensus on the adoption of Ordinance #10-2, amending the City’s refuge and trash disposal policy on second reading, by adding that “there shall be no collection of garbage, rubbish, or refuge from dumpsters of any size.”

But after months of debate on the topic and a work session on the sanitation department’s financial status last month, the ordinance was tabled once again after RBS Mayor Kenneth Hollis agreed to look into other cost-cutting options in order to keep the dumpster service available to City business owners. 

Kicking off discussion on the proposed ordinance was Palace Care & Rehab administrator, and City dumpster business customer, Rita Crabtree.

“What would you’re profit margin have to be in order to continue the service?” she asked. “I’d rather my expense money go to the City but, as it is, you’re forcing me to go to another vendor.”

Red Boiling Springs Mayor Kenneth Hollis responded by saying that the dumpster service is costing the City between $450-$500 per month to financially break even.

In January, Mayor Hollis talked about increasing the dumpster rate from the current daily pick-up fee of $225 to $600, which is roughly what TDS, a local dumpster pick-up company that owns the landfill and therefore does not pay dumping fees, charges its customers for the same service.

“I’ve talked to Lafayette City,” Hollis said. “They tell me that the minute they did away with dumpsters, the revenue went up because they were losing so much money. Now TDS has them.”

One of the issues that has been brought up over the past few months concerning the ordinance, is that the City requested businesses to purchase the dumpsters in order to receive the service that is now being threatened for cancellation. 

“We got the dumpsters primarily to begin with because the City wanted us to buy dumpsters and it was part of the City process,” Crabtree said. “So now the City just prefers not to do this project any longer? . . .  If you need to go up to that $600 a month, which is comparable to TDS, I’d like to see what money I can put back into the City.”

Hollis announced that there is only $317 in the City’s Sanitation Department account, not even enough to “pay the bills” he remarked.

Council member Terry Newberry suggested a small increase to garbage customers outside the City limits, which makes up about 50 percent of the City’s garbage customers, to increase revenues.

Council member John Cook, who openly opposes the cancellation of the dumpster service, commented that the residents and businesses located inside the City limits, “should get first treatment.”

“Somebody show me that this (dumpster rates) is the problem,” Cook said. “I’m just not sold that these dumpsters are the only problem . . . these are the people that generate revenue and bring in all your sales tax revenue . . .”

“They may not be, but I think it’s the first step in stopping the bleeding,” Hollis responded.

“Mayor, you’re in business yourself,” said Cook. “You’re good with numbers, you can fix this if you’d go hide somewhere for a couple hours, and if you don’t like what we’re saying, give us something so we can like it. You can fix this without killing these dumpsters.”

After going back and forth about secondary solutions, the discussion ended with all council members agreeing to table the ordinance, and Mayor Hollis volunteering to look into other Sanitation Department factors including routes, employees and hours. He will present his ideas during a special called meeting, to be scheduled at later time.


In other business:

  • Fire Department: Jimmy Watson was added onto the RBS Fire Department; Randy Hagan will be leaving Friday to pick up a donated fire truck and equipment; raincoats will be purchased by the City for members of the fire department.
  • July Fourth Festivities: Discussion was tabled due to the recent flood and the financial effects on would-be sponsors of the event.
  • Heady Ridge Stop Sign: The stop sign was voted, unanimously, to remain on Heady Ridge Hill instead of College Street. RBS resident Joel Cole spoke to the council on the matter.
  • Ordinance #10-3: Approved unanimously by council members on first reading, the ordinance combines the City’s current Personnel Policy into one, more organized, document.
  • Ordinance #10-4: The City’s 2010-2011 budget was approved unanimously, on first reading.
  • Public Hearing: Set for June 10th, at 6:30 p.m., a public hearing on the City’s 2010-2011 budget is scheduled.
  • Ordinance #10-5: The council voted unanimously to set the City’s 2009-2010 tax rate at 1.1609 (also the current tax rate), on first reading. 
  • Ordinance #10-6: Approved unanimously on first reading, the ordinance amends the 2009-2010 budget to include the cost of a new City truck.
  • Utilities Department: The council voted unanimously to purchase a 2010 Chevy Silverado one-ton truck and steel bed to be used as a salt truck and for various other City needs. The cost of the truck is $25,715.99 with an additional fabrication fee of $2,000. Funds for purchasing the truck will be taken out of the Gas Department account. The council also approved the purchase of a new roof for the City Sewer Plant. Low bidder, Dyer Construction, was selected to take on the project for $4,265.
  • Park Department: Since obtaining the proper permits, City employees have been working to clean up creeks, bridges and debris areas since the recent flood. It was decided by the council that clean-up assistance will be requested from Adrian Powell in order to finish in a timely fashion. A FEMA representative is expected to survey the City in the days to come and clean-up costs are anticipated to be reimbursed by FEMA since Macon County was recently declared a disaster area.
  • RBS Teens: Red Boiling Springs resident Kim Evans spoke to the council on the need for local places for teenagers to go. She requested the council’s support in submitting a grant to the Tony Hawk Foundation for a skate park and, a mother herself, noted the activities teenagers resort to when nothing is available for them. The council asked Evans to return with more information on the grant.
  • Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon: The council voted 2-4 to approve the amended water purchase agreement with the City of Lafayette. At the last regular meeting, the council requested George Garden of BWS&C to omit Nestle Waters as a third party in the agreement. With Nestle omitted as a signee, council members John Cook and Terry Newberry still opposed the contract, as the water bottling company was still named throughout the agreement. The City of Lafayette has already signed the agreement.
  • Palace Community Cookout: Palace Care & Rehab Administrator Rita Crabtree spoke to the council, thanking them for their assistance during the evacuation process the night of the flood. She announced that assisted living facility would be hosting a Community Cookout on Tuesday, May 18th, at 5:30 p.m. on the Palace’s south lawn. Everyone is invited to attend.