BY HANNAH LESTER
LEE COUNTY —
There was a frustrated crowd at the Lee County Commission meeting Monday night.
The county has been operating under its new solid waste disposal plan in full for a month now — which means Arrow Disposal handles trash pickup and collection sites have gone by the wayside.
And citizens aren’t happy.
Lisa O’Hara spoke first and expressed concern with litter, with her fees and the plan as a whole.
“Why should I have to pay for a garbage can that I don’t use,” she said. “… I don’t know who voted this in … but we voted it out six or seven years ago and then y’all throw this on us.”
The county first voted on the Arrow Disposal plan in the fall of 2021 and disposed of private contractor’s ability to collect trash.
See this article from September,2021: https://opelikaobserver.com/citizens-voice-frustrations-over-county-garbage-collection-plan/.
The curbside plan took effect on March 1, 2022, and by the end of the year was in full swing.
Citizens have a 95-gallon trash can that is picked up once a week with bulk pickup offered in an on-demand system, twice a month for free.
There were complaints Monday night, however, that no one answers the phone when calling for bulk pickup.
Another resident, Michael Malkin, complained that there is extra dumping on his road now that collection sites have closed.
“We weren’t as citizens, able to vote on this Arrow,” said one citizen, Marie Maples. “I don’t want it. I want the dumpster. I enjoyed driving to the dump, enjoying a nice day and taking my own garbage. The can’s heavy.”
John McDonald, director of Environmental Services, presented a report to the county on the solid waste plan, in the regular portion of the meeting.
“December of 2021, under the old system, the solid waste department hauled 508 loads of waste from disposal sites for a total of 2,907 tons of garbage collected,” he said. “The fee to dispose of that was $78,275.06 … The first month, December of 2022, was the first month fully under the new system, combined between Arrow and Solid Waste, Lee County Solid Waste, the Solid Waste employees did 379 bulk pickups and our tonnage, combined with Arrow, was 1,574.8 tons for a disposal cost of $43,245.93.”
He said that the department also answered over 5,000 phone calls. He said that he hopes soon phone calls will be less of a problem for citizens.
– The commission approved an appointment to the Lee County Recreation Board/District 2.
– The commission approved an appointment to the Beulah Utilities District Board.
– The commission approved two members to the Lee County Youth Development Board.
– The county approved a bid for the Lee County Engineering Complex Project with Gamble Winter Construction, LLC.
– The Rebuild Alabama Fund Annual Report was presented to the commission.
– The commission approved the creation of a Chief Billing Clerk position for Environmental Services.
– The commission approved the Federal Aid Agreement for resurfacing on Lee Road 379.
– The commission approved a speed limit reduction for Lee Road 668.
-The commission approved an owner architect agreement for Loachapoka Park.
– The commission approved the allocation of American Rescue Plan Revenue Replacement Funds for the Engineering Complex Project.
– The commission approved the Lodging Tax Revenue Administration agreement with Avenue.