Council OKs increase in garbage pickup fees

Published 10:54 am Friday, December 9, 2022

BY ROBERT SORRELL
Elizabethton Star
Sanitation customers in Elizabethton may soon pay a bit more for garbage pickup after City Council approved a motion Thursday night on first reading.
Council members will take up the motion again next month, but during Thursday’s meeting, all but one member approved the increase. Councilman Wes Frazier voted against the motion. The proposed rate increases fees from $13 to $15 for residential pickup and $25 to $30 for commercial pickup.
The increase, which could be in place early next year, would offset a pay raise for sanitation workers.
On Nov. 14, the council met during a workshop to discuss concerns about employee recruitment and retainment within the city’s sanitation department and how the issue could impact city residents.
During the workshop, the council discussed raising the pay rate to $17.24.
The council also unanimously approved a motion to purchase a 2024 Mack/Heil Automated Side Loader Garbage Truck.
Members passed a motion increasing a fuel surcharge for outside agencies that use city fuel. Outside agencies, such as the Carter County Rescue Squad and volunteer fire departments, currently use the city’s tax-free fuel. The city has seen an increase in fuel consumption.
Alexander signed a proclamation declaring January as human trafficking awareness month in Elizabethton.
Council members also heard from two citizens during the public comment portion of the meeting.
A Milligan Highway resident asked the council to consider de-annexing a portion of the roadway near Johnson City because the city has not been able to provide services such as sewer. Council noted that it would cost approximately $6 million to install sewage to the residents. The resident also said he was concerned about fire protection on Milligan Highway.
A second resident asked council for an update on the closed recycling centers on Mill Street and Lyons Park. City Manager Daniel Estes informed the resident that the two sites are managed by the county, which has not been able to operate the locations.

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