Nearly every citizen who spoke during the public hearing for trash input at the town of Wadesboro’s monthly meeting encouraged the council to pick up trash only once a week.
The council held the public hearing during its regular monthly meting on Monday. Citizen Betty Horan said that she thinks that the town should offer recycling options and that having trash picked up twice a week is a waste, as citizens can take their recycle to Polkton and mulch their leaves. Barbara Briles, Francis Griggs and Glenn Caulder also supported one-day pickup. Others requested that the money for a new trash truck be used for other town projects.
Elizabeth Cameron said she wants the town to leave the service as it is. “I LOVE the trash service the way it is,” she wrote to the council. “I am now officially a senior citizen and would be incapable of taking off yard waste and large items on my own. As it is, if I can get it to the curb it will be picked up. In my twenty years of living in Wadesboro I have never had a bad experience with the trash service, not even a piece of paper left behind. I know, barring a holiday, that the trash will be picked up on Mondays and Thursdays at approximately 8 a.m., yard waste will be picked up in a timely manner and all it takes for large item pick-ups is a call to City Hall. I like the way the trash service is being provided at this time.”
There are several options available for the town’s trash service. A solid waste cost analysis for fiscal years 13-14 and 14-15 show that the cost of the town picking up trash and performing other duties twice a week is $456,810. Trash pickup without the extra duties by Waste Connections twice a week would cost about $395,764. Reducing the pickup and other duties to once a week by town employees costs about $376,809 while trash, bulk and yard debris pickup alone by Waste Connections once a week would cost $343,274. The amounts for the town of Wadesboro can be reduced by removing other sanitation employees’ duties, but costs still remain high. Faced with these figures and the input from citizens, the council tabled the meeting until next month to give members time to think about their decision.
The council also heard from town manager Alex Sewell, Rocky River RPO director Dana Stoogenke, and DOT representative John Underwood about creating a “road diet” for Highway 109 in the uptown area. The “road diet,” which includes several features designed to increase motorist and pedestrian safety, would potentially involve adding a pedestrian crossing signal and adding bump outs, curb extensions that narrow the street and are designed to force speeding motorists to slow down. The extra curb would also give pedestrians more space.
Although the price tag of the project is high— potentially almost $140,000 — at a time the town does not have money to spare, the DOT may be able to fund it since it is a safety issue. The council decided to table it until it can gather more information and think on the subject.
Sewell provided a financial projection for the year. In the general fund, revenues exceed expenditures by $362,000, but property tax revenues still haven’t come in, so it is still on pace to meet projections, he said. The sales tax, trash fee, fire tax, and franchise tax revenues are also on pace to meet projections. Departments are also staying within their budgets, he reported, though the town will need to pull money from a contingency fund to repair the fire ladder truck.
The water/sewer fund has a more dismal outlook. Expenditures exceed revenues by $19,000, and water revenues are not on pace to meet projections, though sewer revenues are. Even with rate structure changes, Sewell said revenues may not be enough to sustain the services that are being provided. The water department has already spent 67 percent of its budget while the sewer department has spent 56 percent of its budget.
David Harrington and several other residents of Ingram Street approached the council and requested that the council install better drainage pipes on their road. “I’ve been up here month after month to try to get it fixed, and there hasn’t been any work done on it,” Harrington, who has made his request at nearly every council meeting for well over a year, said. “We’ve seen you receive several grants that haven’t been used on it. USDA has offered to help if the town started it.”
Harrington stressed that the street is a safety issue. “It’s been over 15 years since anyone last came to widen the roads and they left ditches several feet deep,” he said. “The pipes are dangerous and water backs up in the yard. Children could fall in the ditches.” The council listened to his request, but had already stressed in previous meetings that there is not enough money currently in the budget to repair the street.
During the meeting, the mayor presented service awards to town employees to recognize their years of service. John Willoughby, Scott Martin, David Hanna, Cindi Pope and Josh Leviner were all recognized for their five years of service. Lewis McLendon, Kelly Tarlton, Ronald Gainey, Wendell Walters and Charlie Henry were all recognized for 10 years of service while Jeff Harris, Hugh James and Brandon Chewning have all served 15 years. Jerry Pauldo was awarded for serving 20 years.
- The council approved four consent agenda items, including extending the debt set-off expiration date to 30 years, adopting an employee Internet usage policy, adopted a personnel policy amendment relating to work performed on holidays, and amended an audit contract,
- The board heard from Rev. Chavis and his wife from Spring Lake, who want to bring a Crusade to Wadesboro through United Pentecostal Church International this fall. The event would be a family fun day provided at no cost to the town, which would allow families to gather and enjoy free events and giveaways while getting to know UPCI. Chavis hopes that a church would eventually be established, but stressed that this particular event would function more as a community gathering than a religious one.
- Sewell received the council’s permission to discuss adding video content to the town’s website with CGI Communications, Inc. Entering into a partnership with the US Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, CGI offers communities a marketing tool to showcase community highlights through a program featured on the town’s site at no cost to the town.
- The council heard from Bill Lester, a project manager with LKC Engineering, with a progress report on water and sewer improvements on Lewis Street. Lester received nine bids ranging from $889,378 to $1,565,956 for the project, all of them too high for the project’s budget of $660,800. A lower price was negotiated, but three or four homes will have to be dropped from the original target service area. To approve the reduced scope of the project, the council will hold a new amendment public hearing on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m.
The council will next meet for its retreat. It will hold the Lewis Street amendment public hearing on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. and hold its next regular meeting on March 3 at 5 p.m.