Garbage collection not on county agenda, but lively discussion ensues

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors did not have the county’s garbage collection issue on its agenda today, but the presence of two representatives from Arrow Disposal Services Inc. in the audience prompted a discussion.

The county has received two proposals from companies that want to handle the county’s garbage collection service. One is a new company formed by the now-bankrupt Metro Services, United Infrastructure Services of Louisiana, LLC. The other is Arrow Disposal Services Inc., also known as ADSI.

County attorney Scott Slover said the bid proposals provided by each are very nearly the same in monthly cost, about $26 per household per month. That’s compared with the original cost of the last contract with Metro, which was $9 per household per month.

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The county is required to provide garbage collection services to county residents, who currently pay $15 per month.

The ADSI representative said the county has asked the new company to begin sometime around April 15, and in order to do so, he needs the board to make a decision.

“Our bid includes carts. If we don’t notify our vendor, which they extended the deadline for that to tomorrow, we would have to collect without carts, which we could do temporarily. We would also have to order trucks, so we are hamstrung right now,” he said.

Board President Warren Gaines said the county was not interested in negotiating a contract with one vendor that would put the other in an uncompetitive position.

“Not only is it not right, it’s not legal,” Attorney Slover said.

Supervisor Wes Middleton said, regardless of the vendor selected, the supervisors should consider picking up garbage once a week, rather than the present two times per week it is picked up.

“Financially, what makes sense is once a week,” he said. “I know change is hard for people, but the price difference is substantial. How in the heck are we going to pay for two times a week?”

Supervisor Angela Hutchins said she was not even willing to discuss taking garbage pick up to once per week. She and Supervisor Ricky Gray said the county tried that in the past and “it didn’t work,” she said.

Supervisor Kevin Wilson said people would learn to adapt to one garbage pick up per week.

Hutchins and Gray said trash would end up down in bayous and would be an environmental mess and the county would have a bigger problem on its hands.

Discussion continued in generalities, ranging from trying to find out when the city’s contract for collection service expires and trying to go with the city and bid the city and county as one.

That was tried in the past, Slover said.

“While it was favorable for the county — we ended up with a better rate — it was not favorable for the city,” he said.

Gaines ended the discussion. “I don’t feel this is right for you and only you to be here during this. It’s one-sided,” he said.

Gaines said the county would call a special meeting with all parties involved to discuss the garbage collection issue.

In other county business, supervisors have re-opened the application process for the county administrator’s position.

“We are trying to get some more candidates,” Supervisor Ricky Gray said after Tuesday’s meeting of the board. “We are going to advertise in some different places, broaden our search.”

The supervisors interviewed chose three candidates out of their first round of applications. However, two of those candidates found other employment and withdrew from the process.