Passage of Landis budget delayed
By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS ó It was expected the board would likely approve its 2011-12 budget at Monday nightís meeting, but because of concerns in a garbage collection contract, it was delayed.
The board pushed approval of the budget to June 13 pending changes to a garbage collection agreement with Rockwell based company, Crash Morrrison Garbage Services Inc.
The terms of the contract were for five years or 60 months, but town officials had said they preferred a contract term of two or three years with the option to renew.
The contract also details the companyís independent contractor status.
ěWhen you contract services, you give up control as a board,î said Town Attorney Rick Locklear.
He said there were pros and cons to the contract, which was already written into the budget. It would cost the town $110,000 for the garbage contract or $550,000 for five years if the board kept the contract as it was submitted by Crash Morrison.
Alderman James Furr said he had problems with the contract and voted against implementing it.
In addition to not wanting to contract for more than two years, Furr said the contract does not specifically address whether someone will get the elderly and disabled residentsí trash. All other residents must roll their garbage to the curb.
ěItís verbal, but thereís nothing in writing,î Furr said.
He also said there is no liability insurance mentioned in the contract.
ěThis says they can do whatever they want. We donít have control. They can subcontract,î Furr said.
The contract also says each resident will be given a 95-gallon roll cart, but if the cart is lost or damaged, the town pays $55 for a new cart.
Furr said he didnít feel the town should be responsible for replacing the cart if the cart didnít belong to the town in the first place.
ěThe cart will not say Landis on the side, it will say Crash Morrison,î he said.
Alderman Tony Hilton said he agreed with most of what Furr said and couldnít agree with the contract as it was written.
ěWe donít have a lot of time,î Hilton said.
Furr said this shouldíve been looked at six months ago, not mere weeks before budget approval.
The board has until the end of the month to approve its budget.
Landis resident Nadine Cherry was one of two people who spoke during the public hearing regarding the budget.
Cherry spoke primarily in opposition to the garbage contract. She, too, questioned what the elderly and disabled are to do about bringing their garbage to the curb.
ěI specifically want to see it in writing as to what a disabled person unable to take their recycling and garbage to the front has to do to have it picked up at the back as it is now,î Cherry said.
She said she was against the budget if it included a new garbage collector.
Resident and former alderman Will Beaver also spoke against the contract.
ěThis garbage thing is the silliest thing Iíve heard,î he said.
Beaver said he appreciated Furr speaking out about the contract changes.
Beaver said they should keep the three town employees that would be lost if they contract out services.
If the three positions were eliminated it would reduce the budget by $125,000, which includes salaries, benefits and retirements.
If the contract is approved, the employees would be terminated effective in July.
ěThis contract is sorry. It should be thrown out,î Beaver said.
Locklear Town Manager Reed Linn and Public Works Director Steve Rowland will make changes to the contract.
Until the board sees a contract agreement with the changes they discussed, they canít approve the 2011-12 fiscal year budget.
Rowland has said Crash Morrison was the only company that responded to bid advertisements for service.
The board recessed Mondayís meeting and will continue it Monday at 6 p.m. in town hall.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.