RAGLAND – A 3-2 vote by the town council last week gave officials the go-ahead to officially start closing the dumpsite.

Mayor Lanis White said up front that he was opposed to closing the dump. When the time came to vote, White -- along with councilmembers Amanda Parsons and Richard Bunt -- voted to keep the dump open. With council members Edna Daffron, Tim McKinney and Carlton Byers voting to close it, that made it a 3-3 vote.

White said he, as mayor, could not vote to create a tie, so he struck his vote and the motion passed to close the dump.

Daffron said the dumpsite needs to be closed because it is an extra expense for the town.

“We know we have overtime with the street department having to work it,” Daffron said. “I’m sure we having people who use the dumpsite and do not pay. Within the city limits, we have garbage pick-up on Thursdays for everybody, and people should use it. I have always thought the dumpsite should be closed. Everybody knows that.”

Currently, the dumpsite is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. McKinney said they need to close the dumpsite on Saturdays to begin with and then work on Wednesdays.

“We need to get letters in the mail to notify everyone where they can obtain garbage services,” McKinney said. “We need to have a deadline, and give them time to make arrangements. And then we will close Wednesdays as well.”

When McKinney suggested they take two months to get Saturdays closed, Daffron said no.

“Let’s get it all closed in two months,” she said.

“I am opposed to closing the dump.” White said. “That has been my stand for several years. I understand that is one opinion, and we have had this conversation before. It provides a service, and it provides a service to some folks that shouldn’t have it. What alarms me is, if we do not have a place for people to take their garbage, where will they take it?”

Daffron said St. Clair County has a contract with Advanced Disposal for people who live outside the town limits of Ragland.

Daffron made the motion to start the process of closing the dumpsite, send letters to the residents, and have the dumpsite all closed by Oct. 1. McKinney seconded the motion. It carried by a vote of 3-2.

“Now we will see how bad folks really want a dumpsite,” White said. “If they want it, they will speak up. If they sit back and are passive, then it will be closed.”

Contact Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.