Town to ask county to pay solid waste fees

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Town of Woodbury Mayor Andy Duggin will appear before the Cannon County Board of Commissioners on Saturday to ask them to reconsider paying the tipping fees for the town when it transports residential solid waste to a landfill.

The commissioners voted last month to not pay the tipping fees after the county decided to no longer offer compacting service at the Cannon County Convenience Center. That forced the town to take its garbage trucks to a landfill in either Murfreesboro or McMinnville.

Duggin told members of the Woodbury Board of Mayor and Aldermen at their monthly meeting Oct. 2 he has consulted with legal counsel about the tipping fees, which are estimated to cost Town of Woodbury residents an additional $3,000 per month for residential garbage disposal alone.

Woodbury residents are also residents of the Fifth District of Cannon County. Like residents of all other districts, they pay county property taxes. A percentage of the property tax rate is earmarked for solid waste disposal. Not paying the tipping fees for Fifth District residents is discrimination, Duggin contends.

Duggin said if the commissioners -- including Ronnie Mchaffey and Kim Davenport who represent the Fifth District -- again decide to not pay the tipping fees, the next step in the process will be to seek a legal remedy, something he would like to avoid.

"I don't want to sue myself," Duggin said.

Whatever decision the commissioners make Saturday, the town's solid waste operation is likely to undergo some significant changes, including possibly no longer providing commercial dumpster services.

During the monthly meeting, Public Works Director Shane Gannon presented aldermen with the following proposals for their consideration:

• With notice, cease dumpster (commercial) pick-up. Based on cutting out these two routes and two trips to unload truck, this would cut out approximately $4,320 in fuel costs yearly, keeping within our current budget. Also, this would help reduce wear and tear on truck, hopefully keeping maintenance and repairs manageable.

• Change residential pick-up from two days weekly to three days weekly. As it is now, we have three loads weekly split between two days. We are loading one truck, finishing the route with our older truck. While this is the best option now, the old truck is much slower causing routes to be finished later. This brings about an increase in overtime.

• A three-day schedule should allow us to pick up a complete route with the newer truck and go to be unloaded in an eight hour period. Also, it would allow for more flexibility for growth in the future.

• A three-day week will also take the budgeted Solid Waste Salary from $163,980 to $98,387. The remaining $65,693 would need to be moved to the general fund. On the two days the employees are not picking up trash, they would be used in the parks, patching or cleaning streets, or anywhere else needed. This would enable us to better serve our customers through better maintenance of these areas while avoiding any reduction in employee hours.

The aldermen will consider Gannon's proposal and make a decision after it is knows whether the county will resume paying the tipping fees for Fifth District residents.

The county commission is scheduled to meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cannon County Courthouse.

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