During a special meeting on Monday evening, the Wadesboro Town Council approved a new trash policy reducing trash pick-up times.
The council held a special meeting on Thursday issue to discuss the trash policy, insurance increases, and the town budget. The council reviewed the policy but some members expressed concerns about how reduced service may affect commercial accounts. The meeting was recessed and re-opened on Monday evening after Town Manager Alex Sewell had a chance to notify affected businesses.
The final approved policy will allow the town to charge $15 per month for trash pick-up. Customers will be required to use up to four containers totaling 128 gallons. All trash must be bagged and in a trash can to be eligible for pick-up, or up to four trash bags may be used without a trash can, according to the policy. Up to 10 pieces of empty cardboard will be allowed to be placed outside the container. Non-residential furniture pick-up will be limited to twice a week.
Each household will have its trash picked up once a week on either Mondays or Wednesdays. The trash will have to be set on the curbside by 7 a.m. on pick-up day in order to be picked up.
The policy is slightly different for the Uptown area, which the town defines as being from Rutherford to Morgan to Washington to Martin. Those customers will be allowed to place up to six trash receptacles totaling up to 192 gallons out, or up to four bags designed to take trash not in a container. Trash will be picked up three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and must be at the curb at 7 a.m. The non-Uptown rules about cardboard and non-residential furniture pick-up will apply.
During Thursday’s meeting, Sewell also presented the town’s budget options. At its current pace, Sewell estimated that the town will deplete its fund balance in two years, barring any emergencies. He outlined the problems of the town’s revenues declining even as its expenditures increase, thanks in part to an declining population, depreciated water/sewer system, and inflation. The budget proposal includes police service reductions, no employee raises, an ad valorem tax increase, and more.
Even these changes don’t fully close the gaps, Sewell warned. “We’ve put the problem off for so long, the problem’s gotten bigger,” he said. “Because the problem’s gotten bigger, so has the solution.”
Some of the proposal points were a matter of concern for the council. Wadesboro Police Chief Thedis Spencer approached the council and apprised it of his security concerns. By freezing a police position, the department will be less able to focus on community policing. Spencer predicted that this will be a problem as the crime rate and the amount of juveniles committing crimes is increasing. Additionally, “We’re losing the battle on drugs,” he said, adding that the department is seeing increasing amounts of drugs. “If there’s any way possible that you can make that decision to keep that extra position, we really need it.”
The council also heard from Donna Nixon with Pierce Group Benefits about the town’s employee insurance. Although insurance rates are increasing, the broker was able to lower the initial increase. Nixon also said that switching insurance may not be in the best interest of employees. “We do a lot of outreach to employees with chronic issues and we want to see that initiative continue to move forward,” she said.
The town will hold its next regular monthly meeting on June 2 at 5 p.m. at the town hall.