Following up on the success of Whitley County beginning to offer trash collection service, the Whitley County Fiscal Court approved the purchase of a second truck Tuesday as it looks to expand its service area throughout the county.
“Right now, we have around 400 customers and 450 garbage cans,” said Judge-Executive Pat White, Jr., noting that the second truck will allow the county to cover additional area.
White said the first area that will be part of the expansion is the southern portion of the county, though the ultimate goal is to offer the service any place where private garbage service is limited, or where residents are experience price gouging.
“We started because there were people that didn’t have service or their bills were so high,” White said. “We are going to be competitive.”
White said officials are working to begin offering the extended service in August.
“We have between 30 and 50 people in the new area just waiting for us to begin,” White said noting the fiscal court had previously set 400 customers as the threshold for when it would seek to purchase a second truck.
The new truck is a 2018 Freightliner located in Louisville.
White told the magistrates that it is a demo model with 930 miles on it. Because of that, the county is able to purchase the truck for $165,000, which is $75,000 less than the cost of a new truck.
Also, the fact that it is a demo model means that it will be a matter of weeks, not months to have it delivered.
“I think it is a real value to us,” White said.
In order to help fund the purchase, the magistrates passed two resolutions authorizing the county to apply for a Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) grant, and a USDA Rural Development Grant.
White said while the garbage service is not yet making money or even breaking even, the amount of revenue it is producing is continuing to increase.
“We had pretty substantial revenue in July,” White said. “Maybe, by next fiscal year, we will have the revenue to start paying for dumpster days.”
White noted that the recent dumpster days brought in 19,000 pounds of trash.
The next dumpster days is scheduled for Aug. 13-15 at Jones Grocery off of Ky. 1804 in the Boston community.
“We do restrict it to Whitley County residents, but anyone from the county may bring items,” White said.