Members of the Thomaston City Council questioned a representative of GFL Environmental at length during a work session last Friday, regarding the quality of local garbage and trash service.
District 3 councilman Ryan Tucker said it is the top grievance among his constituents.
“We have some serious issues. If I get complaints about something, it’s going to be this, and it’s been increasing the last 90 days,” Tucker told GFL’s Bobby Cunningham. “The biggest question is why it’s happening, and when are we going to fix it?”
Tucker said collection trucks are using the “claw” to pick up large items of yard waste, scattering smaller pieces during the process. Many times, remnants are blown or washed into sewer drains, causing localized flooding, he added.
“In the past, [workers] would rake up the smaller trash and dispose of it properly,” Tucker told Cunningham. “To be honest, I’m not pleased with what we’ve seen. So what’s the plan moving forward? What can residents expect?”
According to Cunningham, GFL has adjusted routes to streamline the pickup process and is adding extra trucks to the local service area. Along with one household garbage truck, there will be two large outdoor trash trucks with claws and one box truck for smaller piles.
Addition of the smaller truck will allow large trucks to focus on heavy waste that cannot be loaded by hand. Cunningham added that if residents will place items small enough to fit into garbage cans, the process will be streamlined even more.
GFL averages almost 1,000 pickups per day locally, according to company officials.
In other business:
•Following a request by Thomaston Police Chief Mike Richardson, council voted unanimously to increase pay for school crossing guards to $15 per hour. The increase, for three guards working two hours daily during school sessions, will cost the city $12,420 annually, according to Richardson. The vote also increased pay to $18 per hour for crossing guards with five years of service.
•Richardson and council members discussed a physical agility test for all certified officers, including the chief. An agility test similar to one required for admittance into the Police Academy would be administered to TPD personnel quarterly. Officers will have one year to prepare for the physical test, Richardson said.
•City Manager Russell Thompson told council that a three-way wastewater agreement among the city, county, and Industrial Development Authority is being prepared by attorneys. Members of the council and the Upson County Commission recently approved a new joint agreement.
•Thompson said there have been “a few change orders” during construction of the new Thomaston Fire Department on North Church Street, but TFD should be in its new home by November.
•During Public Works Director Kyle McGee’s discussion of resurfacing projects, he said a parking lot for Lake Thomaston should be added by October. The space should accommodate approximately 15 vehicles for residents who wish to walk the property, according to McGee.