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County prepares for new trash pickup contract

After months of complaints about pickup and billing, the county’s contract with Amwaste for its garbage collection is nearing an end. Commissioners approved to begin the process of writing specifications and preparing the needed bid documents for securing a new contract for trash pickup. It was noted the current contract will end in the fall.

At Thursday’s workshop meeting, Commissioner Larry Roberts said he didn’t believe any company other than Amwaste would bid on the service due to the low number of subscribers and no mandatory pickup. The commission has discussed implementing mandatory pickup, but that motion was taken off the table on Monday after no action was taken.

In a related matter, a visitor at the workshop meeting on Thursday addressed the commission about incorrect billing from Amwaste. Cheryl Clark told commissioners that Amwaste is a real problem and nobody seems to care. “I pay my bill annually and now they are wanting to charge me a new rate that includes an increase. I tried to call them but nobody would answer and when I finally got to talk to a live person, they were so rude.”

Assistant Engineer replacement

News came to the commission earlier this month that Assistant Engineer Justin Rush had submitted his resignation effective January 12. Commissioners agreed to start advertising for the position.

At Thursday’s workshop, Commission Chairman Derek Farr asked Engineer Burrell Jones what his plans were.

“I’ve heard you say several times you are going to retire but you have never given us an exact date, it changes from week to week,” Farr said.

Jones remained silent as Farr continued.

“I want us to sit down in the very near future and I want you to give me a definitive date,” Farr said.

Farr added with the absence of the assistant Jones would be responsible for all the upcoming work.

“Maybe we need to advertise for the assistant job and the engineer’s job at the same time,” he said. “There have got to be some changes, and I want some answers.”

Farr added that the county engineer needed to be able to do the engineering work on projects instead of having someone else do it. Farr was absent from Monday’s meeting but the commission will begin advertising the assistant position.

To dump or not to dump

That’s a question that commissioners discussed in both the workshop and the regular meeting. At the present time, contractors, at least three, are dumping their roll-offs and dumpsters at the landfill. The problem is there is material in those containers that is prohibited (paper and plastic). After a discussion at both meetings, the commission agreed to send letters to those using the landfill to refrain from dumping anything but their own materials. If this request is not met, the companies could be fined and prohibited from using the landfill.

Boys and Girls Club

For the second month in a row, Ida Amon addressed the commission concerning the location of a new Boys and Girls Club in Wedowee. As she did last month, Mrs. Amon stated the need for a club in Wedowee.

“I have got the support of school principals and Wedowee Town Council and they all agree we need it,” she said.

She went on to say the location that has been selected is the former Ava Hills Assisted Living facility.

“There is plenty of room there for what we want to do,” Amon said. “I am appealing to you write a letter of support so we can make this club a reality.”

Commissioners agreed to help any way they could for the project to move forward.

In other business, the commission:

Reappointed Carolyn Goode, Dinah Lee and Danny McCord to the 911 board at the request of the 911 director.

Approved opening a new bank account for the opioid settlement money. The county will receive $155,913 in settlement funds.

Approved to extend for six months the real estate listing contract with Sonja Holloman of REMAX for property on Highway 431 in Roanoke.

Approved a resolution accepting a proposal from Barrett-Simpson for engineering services on County Roads 17 and 30. The county received a grant in the amount of $500,000 for the work.

Approved a contract with Fuelmaster for a premium plan for fuel at the county shop.

Approved a request from the Wedowee Utilities Board for a waterline extension on County Road 47.

Heard from Sheriff David Cofield that as of Monday, there were 54 inmates in the county jail, 39 male and 15 female.

Announced the courthouse and annexes will be closed on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

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