The Whitley County Fiscal Court is getting into the garbage business at least temporarily.
During its monthly meeting Tuesday, Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. noted that this past week, his office has gotten five to 10 calls from residents along Mahan Road and Limestone Branch, which are both in the Harp’s Creek area, complaining that their garbage hauling company has informed them that their garbage trucks can no longer go down those roads.
White noted that garbage companies had always been able to get garbage trucks down those roads in the past.
White added that in some cases the garbage company is wanting elderly residents to drag their garbage cans one mile out to the main road, which is unacceptable to him.
Currently the situation involves a few dozen people, officials said.
The current plan is for the county to put dumpsters in a central location along each of those roads to get people through the holidays, and then to look for a more long-term solution after the new year.
White said the commercial rate for each dumpster is $140 per month, and there would be a group rate to cover that cost.
“Several households will go together on that. We don’t have any rates set for household pick-up. We don’t have the equipment or facilities to do that,” White said.
White added that in the past, the county had never really considered going into the garbage hauling business because there were several companies that were fairly competitive in their pricing.
“Now we don’t have as competitive of a situation. We have one company that does most all of the county. We are running into a situation where people can’t get service. We have been getting calls in the last week or two from people who just couldn’t get reasonable garbage service,” White said. “If nobody else is going to do it, we are going to try and provide for them.”
Does the fiscal court have any desire to get into the garbage business on a more permanent basis?
White said it probably would if it is determined to be in the best interest of the county and its citizens.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the fiscal court amended the 1988 solid waste ordinance, and approved a 2019 resolution allowing it to set garbage rates by resolution, which only requires one reading as opposed to an ordinance, which requires two readings before changes can go into effect.
The fiscal court also authorized White and Whitley County Treasurer Jeff Gray to open a bank account for solid waste at Hometown Bank.
In other business: the fiscal court:
- Approved a resolution authorizing Santa Claus to utilize Whitley County air space on Christmas Eve in order to deliver presents to good girls and boys.
- Approved the second reading of an ordinance changing the name of Vine View Spur to Woodchase Spur.
- Re-appointed Ralph Stanley to the Whitley County Water District board of directors for a four-year term expiring Dec. 29, 2023.
- Approved 2020 $7,480,950 budget for the Whitley County Clerk’s Office and the 2020 $1,822,908 budget for the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. Both offices operate on the calendar year rather than on the fiscal year.
- Presented two checks as part of the Litter Lieutenant program, which pays non-profit, civic and church groups $100 per mile to pick-up trash along roadways. The fiscal court presented two checks totaling $1,000 to Larry Carte, who was there on behalf of two groups associated with the Mason’s organization.