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Childersburg Mayor and Council to consider available options for garbage & refuse collection & disposal

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CHILDERSBURG, Ala. – The Childersburg City Council will hold a public meeting at Town Hall on April 20, beginning at 5 p.m. concerning garbage & refuse collection and disposal services.

When four of the six members of the current administration took office a little over four years ago, they were faced with what turned out to be a series of challenges regarding the collection and disposal of garbage, trash, and yard waste. Maintaining an old fleet of vehicles had an ever-increasing cost. They invested in new vehicles and equipment that proved to be very much more reliable.

There was an increase in the cost to citizens for providing that service. But, one of the most important factors in providing those services on an economically sound basis was the availability of state inmate labor through the Childersburg Work Release Center. That availability was threatened by plans for changes in the Alabama Department of Corrections, and final straw was the COVID pandemic, which halted those services, likely on a permanent basis.

Besides the greater cost of labor services – even with raised rates of pay for department personnel, maintaining staffing levels have proven to be impossible.

“We hired more than 28 new employees in hopes that six to eight would stay permanently,” explained Mayor Ken Wesson, “But that has not been the case. We greatly struggled even before the pandemic.”

Wesson has repeatedly explained that maintaining services as they currently exist, along with meeting the other departmental workload demands continues to steadily rise. Tuesday night, the Mayor reported that cost analysis showed that keeping services as they are would mean raising rates as high as $36 a month, and that would be to just break even.

That should make it clear why they are, and have been studying available options for quite some time. They have studied the idea of issuing garbage containers and making a transition to mechanical pick-up. While that would relieve some of the personnel costs involved, it also required considering the additional cost for equipment. They have also studied the many facets involved in continuing service from the City, as well as contracting for those services.

There has been no formal action taken on voting on exactly what proposal will be adopted. Informing the public and getting input from the community is what has been planned for the upcoming Town Hall meeting. That is a two-way street – informing the public of the possibilities and getting your input.

This story contributed by Tom Roberts.


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