HEFLIN — The Cleburne County Commission finalized its bid specifications for the county’s residential garbage service during a meeting Monday night.
Cleburne County engineer Lee Estes said the garbage contract will be for three years and can be renewed up to two times. The county, which requires residents to have garbage pickup service, uses Advanced Disposal for residents in the unincorporated areas of Cleburne County and in the municipalities of Ranburne, Edwardsville and Fruithurst. (Heflin makes its own arrangements.)
A stipulation to the new contract allows for fines if the trash contractor does not pick up a resident’s trash. That’s because last year, residents complained about the garbage truck missing stops, sometimes up to three weeks.
“Should the contractor miss any route, such routes must be collected within 24 hours of being reported of being missed. Failure to meet the standard will result in the contractor being required to pay a fine in the amount of $100 per missed route,” said Estes.
Estes said repeat offenses within a 12-month period will be fined at $250.
Commissioner Laura Cobb requested an amendment shortening the amount of time the contractor has to pick up a resident's missed trash can to five business days instead of two weeks. The amendment passed.
Cobb was also concerned about trash coming off the truck while picking up customers' trash cans. Estes said that was not specifically in the contract.
Commissioner Emmett Owen said the only solution is for residents to actually put their trash in trash bags so that when the can is picked up by the truck’s automated arm debris will not blow off the truck.
But the consensus of the commission was there would be no way to enforce making residents use trash bags for their garbage.
Owen suggested a “friendly reminder” to residents to bag their trash when they put in their can.
According to Ryan Robertson, commission chairman, the contract is in force as long as Fruithurst and Edwardsville agree to its terms.
The commission also approved bid specifications for dumpsters for the convenience center — a trash drop-off location for county residents — and other county-owned buildings.
The county tabled voting on approving a wireless internet repeater on the courthouse roof until next month. Gigafy, a local internet provider, wants to enter into an agreement to install the repeater in the clock tower of the courthouse to provide line-of-sight internet service to county residents.
The commission also voted unanimously to extend its continuity of operations plan for the rest of the time that a state of emergency is in effect as a result of the COVID-19 situation. The commission extended its operations plan for the duration of the local state of emergency, or the commission’s June meeting, whichever comes first.
Before the meeting, the commission held its monthly E911 board meeting.
Crystal Cavender, Cleburne County emergency manager, said the EMA has been “very busy” with COVID-19 issues and has had to train the 911 operators the correct protocols of processing 911 calls. The operators now have to ask a series of medical questions to protect the responding medics if there is a possibility of COVID-19 when they arrive.
Cavender said it’s been “very stressful” for the 911 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.