The City of Childersburg will host a town hall meeting from 5-5:30 p.m. on April 20 concerning garbage and refuse collection and disposal services.
“When four of the six members of the current administration took office a little over four years ago, they were faced with what turned out to be a series of challenges regarding the collection and disposal of garbage, trash and yard waste,” according to a news release announcing the meeting. “Maintaining an old fleet of vehicles had an ever increasing cost. They invested in new vehicles and equipment that proved to be much more reliable. (However) there was an increase in the cost to citizens for providing that service. But one of the most important factors in providing these services on an economically sound basis was the availability of state inmate labor through the Childersburg Work Release Center. That availability was threatened by plans for changes in the Alabama Department of Corrections, and the final straw was the COVID-19 pandemic, which halted those services, likely on a permanent basis.”
Keeping city personnel to handle garbage service has also been a challenge. Even with increased pay, Mayor Ken Wesson said, “We hired more than 28 new employees in hopes that six to eight would stay permanently. But that has not been the case. We greatly struggled even before the pandemic.”
The release says that just maintaining existing levels of service would mean having to raise rates to $36 a month just to break even.
The council has previously discussed moving to mechanical pickup and going to an outside contractor, among other options.
“There has been no formal action taken on voting on exactly what proposal will be adopted,” according to the release. “Informing the public and getting input from the community is what has been planned for the upcoming town hall meeting.”