Thursday, June 8, 2006
County finalizes contract with R.E.S.
By SUE WATSON
Board president Eddie Dixon was authorized to sign a three-year contract with Resourceful Environmental Services (R.E.S.), continuing the household garbage collection with the company.
CEO Charles Braddock met with the Marshall County Board of Supervisors Monday to find some solutions to problems that have plagued the county related to fee collections. He proposed a statement that would notify landlords that they are ultimately responsible for a renter’s unpaid garbage bills, if the renter skips out. The mechanism for notifying the landlord may be printed on the garbage bill. But that does not mean that renters, who make up about 30 percent of the household units enrolled for garbage pickup, are at liberty to not pay up.
The county will continue to go after delinquent fees using the flag-the-tag process, which puts a hold on the sale of vehicle registration stickers until the overdue garbage bill is paid.
Braddock asked if the county has to advise a landlord of a bill owed by the renter.
Attorney Tacey Clark Clayton said, “no.”
“But from a practical standpoint, the board needs to,” she said.
Supervisor George Zinn III asked Braddock how R.E.S. notifies a new resident they need to enroll for garbage service.
Braddock estimated that 80 percent of the households in the county are signed on for service. R.E.S. is conducting a door-to-door survey to systematically locate all the households not enrolled for service. The company is also putting a full-time employee to work in enrollment and collection of delinquent fees, he said.
Braddock said R.E.S. is going to each household and seeking the 911 numbers, that the company has lost track of hundreds of containers - which cost upwards of $50 each.
He is also concerned that those with their tags flagged will pay up to get their vehicles registered then not pay for another year.
“If everybody did that, you’re talking about several million dollars somebody is going to be in the hole for,” he said. “Not a lot of collection agencies are willing to go out and work to collect $200 past due, but they will work on a $700 past due account.”
Braddock said he is opposed to the use of affidavits letting certain households not pay for service. Typically, the affidavit process is used when a senior citizen says they do not generate enough garbage and asks to share a container with a relative.
Zinn said more people would pay their garbage fee, in his opinion, if they didn’t know their neighbors were not paying.
Supervisors discussed approaching utility companies to ask for their help in billing. A utility company can collect the bill easier, they said.
“You are operating year to year, but a utility is operating month to month,” Braddock said.
He said as of September 1, R.E.S. will not put a new container out without the resident posting their 911 number on their property.
Braddock also advised supervisors that the board needs to require that householders bag their garbage before it goes into the container to prevent contents from being scattered along the roadside when the container is emptied.
Braddock added that at the rate of just $10.10 a month, he is opposed to exempting individuals by affidavit from enrollment, but he said he would stand by the board’s decision on exemptions.
In other business, the board:
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