05/31/06 — Pikeville eyes cutting back trash pickup

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Pikeville eyes cutting back trash pickup

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 31, 2006 1:52 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Pikeville officials are considering hiring a private company to handle the town's garbage pick-up services as part of the 2006-07 budget.

If the budget is approved as proposed, the town would seek bids from Onslow Container Service, Waste Management and Waste Industries, Town Administrator Bob Buchanan said at a work session Monday night.

Buchanan said garbage collection rates would not change under the new contract, but pickup would be scaled back to once weekly. Currently, town employees are responsible for pick-up on Mondays and Thursdays.

"Based on what I've seen, in the garbage pick-up, a lot of times the cans are not full," Buchanan said. "Most communities surrounding us only pick up once a week."

Residents would use a 96-gallon container, replacing the current 80-gallon container. Those who need an additional container could be provided with one at a minimal rate, Buchanan said.

The town plans to continue its limb and leaf pickup system.

Contracting out the service would free up town employees during the week, Buchanan said.

"We've got three employees, two on the back of the truck and a CDL driver, that on Tuesdays on Thursdays, are gone just about the whole day," he said. "That's six working days."

By contracting out the trash pickup, those employees would be able to concentrate on streets, parks and sewer maintenance, Buchanan said.

Contracting the service could mean the sale of the town's garbage truck, Buchanan said.

"It'll be pretty much a wash of the fees that we pay to the fees that we collect, based on preliminary numbers that we have. But by the time that you put the sale of the truck in, it could give us a little bit of surplus dollars."

Buchanan said it was likely that any fuel surcharge would be specified in the contract so as not to affect pick-up fees, barring an event like an oil embargo.

"At this point, we don't foresee that, but crystal balls are hard to come by. That would hit us regardless of whether we went with private pick-up or not," he said.

Capital outlay in next year's budget includes $15,000 for a street sweeper and $15,000 for a new tractor.

"We cannot do without the tractor," Buchanan said.

Commissioner Bruce Thomas said town officials had been talking about a street sweeper for several years, and town employees were still cleaning the streets themselves.

"I think it's time to bite the bullet and get it," Thomas said. "We're a bit more modern than that."

Town officials are also considering installing a water line across N.C. Highway 117, near Food Lion, for a new business.

"We have a prospective customer coming in that has submitted a site plan," Buchanan said. "We definitely want to be able to be the water provider for that."

The access to water could entice other businesses, Buchanan said. "It could open up that side of the street for future development."

The town board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at the community building on Tuesday, June 27, at 7 p.m.