Opp mayor sets deadline for decisionPublished 12:13am Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Opp Mayor John Bartholomew issued an ultimatum to council members Tuesday to make up their mind about city garbage service.
The issue of contracting the service has been greatly debated for months; however, no official vote has been taken. Bartholomew said that decision will be made at the group’s next meeting.
Previously, Bartholomew stated that the city was losing money by providing garbage to the city’s 2,454 residents. Under a proposed plan, the city’s current $12 per month fee and billing and payment procedures would not change.
“In fact, it would mean that the city could generate $106,000 a year in revenue, where what we’re doing now is not making us any money,” Bartholomew said previously.
At Monday’s meeting, he said, “We’ve been very cautious about our budget. We’ve identified areas that are not covering their basic costs. (In the garbage situation) there are not enough customers to cover the cost of operating the trucks. We can’t continue to hurt the taxpayers. To borrow money to provide the service is debt.”
Bartholomew said the city has the same three options previously presented – make no change and continue to lose money; raise the monthly cost to cover the cost of providing the service; or bid the service out.
“We were elected to represent our city and to make these hard choices,” he said. “So please, speak to your friends, family and neighbors and get a consensus of what the taxpayers wish – not what you (as a councilperson) wish to do. The next time we meet, we will have an answer.”
Councilman T.D. Morgan, who voted against every item presented for approval at the night’s meeting, said the majority of his constituents were not in favor of contracting out the garbage service.
Also during the night, the council declared the following properties as nuisance properties:
• 302 14th Street;
• 125 Terrie Drive;
• building owned by Clarence Tyson and located on Kellum Street;
• the buildings and lot owned by Jerry Adams Jr. located on the Florala Hwy.;
• property owned on Duval Drive by Jerry Qualls;
• 206 Grover Street; and,
• 101 Hillcrest Drive.
And in other business, the council:
• awarded a low bid of $57,500 to Catrett Construction Inc. to install new windows in city hall;
• to partner with the Downtown Redevelopment Authority to purchase new banner flags for the downtown area. City cost is $950.
• to pay $16,900 in architect fees to Arcscape for the city pool project.