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Opp stalls on proposed garbage changes

There is still no decision on whether or not Opp will remain in the garbage collection business – despite Mayor John Bartholomew’s promise that a vote would be taken at last night’s meeting.

The issue of contracting the service has been greatly debated for months. Previously, Bartholomew stated that the city was losing money by providing garbage to the city’s 2,454 residents. Under a proposed contract plan, the city’s current $12 per month fee and billing and payment procedures would not change.

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“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.

Monday’s poll of city council members showed that their constituents want the city to remain in the garbage business, and when Bartholomew was questioned on a vote, he said he would present another costs comparison at the next meeting before a vote would be taken.

“I’m not saying I believe we should stay in the garbage business, but all but one of the people I talked to in my district want the city to keep doing what they’re doing,” said Councilman Arlin Davis. “In fact, they said they’d be willing to pay more for the service.”

Councilman Bobby Ray Owens said he doesn’t understand how the city isn’t making a profit on the service.

Bartholomew said there aren’t enough customers utilizing the service to make it cost effective.

“I’m going to show you how much loss it will be if we continue with the service, and I’ll show you what it will cost to contract,” Bartholomew said. “And I want you to show it to your area.”

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.

And in other business, the council:

• honored Lennie March for her 106th birthday;

• declared a 1994 Chevrolet truck and a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria surplus and agreed to sell the two to the highest bidders;

• approved to sign for a $95,000 loan to refinance the Opp Cultural Arts Council’s buildings through CCB Community Bank on a 15-year note at 3.96 percent interest. With the additional funds, the OCAC will install a new roof and central heat and air unit.