Brantley seeks approval for garbage pick-up in police jurisdiction

Published 12:55 pm Monday, September 9, 2013

Legal counsel advises against it; says commission has no authority to regulate solid waste

The town of Brantley recently requested permission from the county commission to provide solid waste pick-up to the residents who live in its police jurisdiction.

Since that time, county commissioners learned from their legal counsel that it isn’t an option for them to simply pick-up garbage for the approximately 200 customers within the police jurisdiction.

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On Monday, Brantley Administrator Phillip Moseley addressed the commission for clarification as to why it couldn’t contract with the town in the fashion it has Advanced Disposal.

“We just want the contract,” Moseley said.

Commissioner Michelle Stephens told Moseley that it wasn’t in everyone’s best interest since it would take away the total number of customers in the county’s solid waste contract, which has the ability to make county residents’ costs increase.

County Attorney Levi Nichols said the county has the authority to regulate solid waste and that a municipality’s authority to regulate solid waste is clearly confined to its corporate limits, and agreed the 200 less households could affect prices in the bid for garbage.

Additionally, the county receives revenues from the garbage services and commissioners don’t want to lose that revenue.

Nichols explained that the town of Brantley could extend its corporate limits to include its police jurisdiction and could then service the households there.

Commissioners were also concerned that the city of Luverne and the town of Rutledge would request the same thing.

Moseley told the commission the town would be willing to pay whatever the county’s fee is, and was prepared to take the southern half of the county.

The county commission is currently working to decide how to proceed on its solid waste contract, which is up in January.

Options that have been discussed are to go through a solid waste authority to bid out the services.

Commissioners told Moseley the town was welcome to make a bid on the entire county, which has more than 3,000 accounts. It was also suggested that they could possible partner with the city of Luverne to pick-up the entire county’s garbage and submit a bid.

Commissioner Charlie Sankey advised the town against getting into the garbage business in the entire county.

“It’s not a lot of bang for your buck,” he said. “You have to have a certain amount of overhead.”

Currently the town of Brantley services some 400 accounts in Brantley and some 200 in Dozier.

Sankey said there would definitely be more issues for the town to deal with including more break downs, more equipment, bad debt and issues with the county’s more than 400 miles of dirt road.

Sankey said that most cities pair water and garbage together to help ensure profitability since garbage isn’t traditionally profitable.

Moseley said Brantley is the opposite in that garbage is profitable for them.