Garbage piles up for 3rd week

Published 12:45 am Tuesday, September 18, 2012

River Falls residents are combating garbage collection problems in the wake of an investigation in that municipality that District Attorney Walt Merrell says should be completed within the next two to three weeks.

Town business remains at a standstill in River Falls after law enforcement executed a search warrant on town hall and the current mayor’s home and place of business on Aug. 28.

The Star-News soon learned that the town’s checkbooks were included in the items seized during the search, but, the Covington County District Attorney’s Office remains tightlipped about the case until Monday.

“It’s still ongoing,” Merrell said Monday. “I expect that it will be wrapped up in the next two weeks or so.”

Merrell said town business, such as paying the bills and employees, can be conducted simply by town officials requesting new checks from the town’s bank. Bill paying has not been hindered by his office, he said.

The DA’s investigation came on the heels of Star-News reports of the transfer of town property to an individual without council approval.

As for garbage pickup, public health officials said Monday residents should take their household garbage to the Allied Waste transfer station in Andalusia. Garbage has not been collected following the resignation of the town’s garbage collector three weeks ago.

Terry Kyzar, an environmentalist with the Covington County Health Department, said he and his staff visited River Falls Monday and have spoken with town officials.

“From what I understand, the council in River Falls is going to get together their options as to what to do about the (garbage situation),” Kyzar said. “At this point, until the council makes up its mind, the only option is to take it to the station.”

Town council member Mattie Freeney said there is a plan to hold a council meeting in the coming days; however, a specific date has not been decided.