Landis may trash 3 sanitation positions
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS — After some trepidation, the town board voted to consider eliminating three positions in the sanitation department, if the board were to approve to contract out the town’s garbage pickup services.
There was much discussion about how approving to contract would affect three positions.
The board has not made a final decision, but is looking at entering into a contract with Crash Morrison Garbage Collection Inc. at $6.50 per customer, which would provide a 96-gallon roll-out container. The Rockwell company was the only one who responded to bids. Town staff said they advertised twice for the contract.
Public Works Director Steve Rowland said he had some interest, but this was the only company that responded.
The contract would be for five years, but the board hopes the company would negotiate with terms closer two or three years, with the option to renew.
Town Manager Reed Linn and Rowland initially reassigned the employees to the Light Fund for tree trimming and right-of-way clearing.
Linn said there would still be a need to have another company trim some trees even if town employees are still employed.
Alderman James Furr said he couldn’t in good conscience tell taxpayers they are saving them money and continue to employ people whom the town would not need to employ.
Linn said if the three positions were eliminated it would reduce the budget by $125,000, which includes salaries, benefits and retirements.
Alderman Tony Hilton also questioned whether the town needed to keep all three positions.
Rowland defended the elimination saying the department does need the positions.
Hilton then said he didn’t like the idea of getting rid of the positions, but was willing to keep the positions and review their need in the next fiscal year.
“Let’s keep watch, come back next year to see if we need to make adjustments. I just want to see how it works,” Hilton said.
Alderman Roger Safrit agreed with Hilton.
Furr said he was agreeing to disagree.
Mayor Dennis Brown reminded the board that by switching the employees from the General Fund to the Light Fund, which is essentially self-sufficient, they could keep the positions.
Rowland said following the meeting that employees in all the departments knew the potential for eliminated positions. If the contract is approved, the employees would be terminated effective in July.
The board also voted to not increase property taxes and sought no increase to the revenue neutral rate. The town hasn’t increased taxes in about five years.
Employees will also have to take 14 furloughs, which the board initially said it hoped to not have to do. The furloughs will save $70,000.
The budget, which is at more than $10.4 million is, balanced.
The board called for a public hearing on the budget at its June 6 meeting. The public hearing will be at 7 p.m.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.