Thursday, May 22, 2008
City revisits junk issues
By SUE WATSON
The new fee system for Holly Springs’ residents to be billed for bulk items set out on the curbs is not working, street supervisor Jairus Leasure told the mayor and board of aldermen Tuesday night, May 6.
“I think we’ve created a monster,” he said.
Residents are avoiding being billed for bulk goods like couches, mattresses and old furniture by placing it along ditches and city rights-of-way or beside someone else’s residence, he said.
“We’re picking up more garbage on the side of the road and on city property or side ditches,” Leasure said. “It’s getting ridiculous now.”
“People are moving stuff around and the city is not collecting payment,” added Mayor Andre’ DeBerry.
Alderman-At-Large Tim Liddy asked how the city is going to solve the problem.
“Put it on the household garbage bill,” said alderman Nancy Hutchens.
DeBerry said the fee structure that the city put in place several months ago was designed to help the city pay for hauling off used goods left on the curbs and at the same time improve the appearance of Holly Springs.
“We couldn’t afford to pick it up for nothing,” he said. “So, we have to raise the sanitation (household garbage) rates if we do not address it.”
“But you may see a big increase in volume then,” said Liddy, explaining that he had been taking his items to the county dump but would be able to leave items on the curb if the city applies an across-the-board increase in sanitation fees to pay for the service.
“If someone is dumping in your neighborhood, would you rather not clean it?” Leasure asked the board.
“We’re talking about the deadbeats who do take their stuff down on someone else’s property,” said Hutchens.
The matter was dropped as Hutchens asked what could be done with a long-standing problem of mud and water accumulation at the intersection of Chewalla Road and Salem after heavy downpours.
“There was a pond there last week,” she said. “Mud and dirt in the street is dangerous.”
Hutchens suggested the landowner be required to take further erosion control steps over what he has already done.
Leasure said the city has cleaned up the mud but the scenario will be repeated in the next storm.
“The problem was four inches of water at once and drain pipes can’t handle water at the driveways,” he said.
Leasure said some driveway culverts are not installed properly.
DeBerry then brought up the need for part-time help at the baseball park as Dizzy Dean season is getting into full swing.
He suggested paying a worker with building and grounds an hourly wage to help dress the fields for games.
IT director Ken Robinson was up next, requesting a resolution for an application for funding for communication equipment from Homeland Security. Fire chief Kenny Holbrook assisted Robinson, saying the state is putting in a 700 frequency statewide and Representative Bennie Thompson has asked some hill communities to join in a pilot project.
The board approved the application.
Aldermen then heard from utility department general manager John Collins, who handed out certificates to the mayor and all aldermen for their completion of a water continuing education seminar for public officials.
Then Collins asked the board to rescind a motion to negotiate with Chickasaw Electric Service Area for return of some of Holly Springs Utility Department’s service area. Collins said he did not believe taking on the necessary upgrade in infrastructure was a good thing at this time. The area is split by a state highway and only one customer wants service at present, he said.
The board also adopted building and electric codes; approved the installation of a blues trail marker at College and North Center Street; and heard a resolution of commendation for service to Holly Springs Fire Department read by Rep. Kelvin Buck and supported by Sen. Bill Stone.
The resolution was presented for excellent service including the recent recovery following a house explosion on Cuba Street in the city.
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