RED SPRINGS — Residents will have an opportunity to voice their opinions on how garbage should be collected during a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 20, the Red Springs Board of Commissions decided on Tuesday.
Privatization of garbage collection would reduce the cost of the service, a savings that could be passed to the residents of Red Springs, according to Town Manager James Bennett.
Former Mayor George Paris said if the city stops providing the service, it could mean putting people out of work if they are not hired by the private contractor.
“An issue I would have is getting rid of two employees. Nothing is guaranteed, how long will they be employed?” Commissioner Duron Burney said. “They can’t guarantee that.”
Paris said now would be a good time to privatize garbage collection as one of the town’s trucks will need to be replaced at a cost of up to $190,000.
The town has received two bids from private companies, both of which offered to purchase the town’s trucks, Paris said. Waste Management, one of the bidding companies, has offered to continue to provide back-door pickup to 150 customers and provide garbage and recycling receptacles at no additional cost to residents, according to Bennett. The town currently offers recycling, but residents must take the materials to a drop-off site.
Waste Management provides waste collection for several towns in Robeson County, including Lumberton, which recently began curbside recycling.
The leaf and limb pickup service currently offered by the town would still be controlled by the town and would not change, according to Bennett.
“This would be a big step for our town and we may want to wait and have a work session and a public hearing in a couple weeks,” Mayor John M. McNeill said. “And those citizens that want to have input will have an opportunity to do so.”
Also on Tuesday, the board discussed replacing aging basketball goals and removing graffiti in the town’s parks. The board also discussed posting rules and regulations in the parks and on the city’s website.
In other action on Tuesday, the board:
— Introduced grant writer Leticia Currie and Human Resources technician Annette Bryant as new town employees.
— Appointed Tim Heath, Ramona Jones, Caroline Sumpter, Alexander Vincent, Lisa Cottrell, Tusha Oxendine and Tommy Hester to the Recreation Commission.
— Appointed Kasey Douglas to serve as tax collector and Commissioner David Shook as first alternate for the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency.
— Approved a $7,157 budget amendment to install a new security system to deter copper theft and refund money to those who were wrongly charged for sewer when their swimming pools were filled.