Emergency repairs to the city's front loader truck that picks up commercial garbage has merchants concerned about getting their businesses waste picked up.
According to Mayor Arnell Willis the truck broke down last week.
“This matter has been discussed on several occasions but this is the time we cannot wait,” said Willis.
According to City Clerk Sandi Ramsey the truck will be down two weeks for repairs.
“This truck continues to break down, over and over again and we cannot continue to repair it. It's on its last leg,” commented Willis.
According to Willis and City treasurer Patrick Roberson, the city is currently looking at leasing a truck to replace the front loader in order to continue commercial trash pickup service.
Roberson informed the council that several local entities were contacted to try and replace the truck, but reported that all local efforts have been exhausted.
Roberson said the city is looking into a 2-week lease at a rate of $6,200 as well as repair costs totaling $2,300.
“According to Mississippi Limestone, the city is paying for repairs every other month at the average cost of $1,500 to $2,000,” reported Roberson.
Roberson explained that there are two options through Scrubs who propose a 60-month lease to own at $4,230.72.
“For a 72-month lease to own it will cost $384 a month and the down payment is the first month payment,” explained Roberson.
Roberson informed the council that the total amount for the 60-month lease is going to be $253,000 where the 72-month lease will total $258,000.
Councilman Christopher Franklin asked when cuts are going to be made off the top so that the city can afford these expenses without having to tax the citizens. Councilman John Huff asked whether or not the city could sell the broken truck once it is fixed to cover some of the expense for the new truck.
“We already have mowers and a tractor, not to mention a new truck for the mayor,” commented Franklin.
Councilman Eddie Clark made a motion giving the mayor permission to lease to own the front loader sanitation truck that the sanitation department needs. Councilman Joe St. Columbia seconded the motion. The council questioned what repairs have been made in the past year to the truck and requested a full repair inventory be given to the council.
Huff suggested that the council not move on this issue now. Councilman Jay Hollowell disagreed, stating that this is an emergency situation and it should be addressed sooner rather than later. Hollowell suggested that the council meet under a workshop setting to address the issue after proper documentation of the history and current repairs are presented to the council.
Clark's motion failed.
The council agreed to repair the broken truck and get the leased truck for two weeks and place bids for a front-end loader and discuss the matter at the next council session in two weeks.