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Have you received your garbage bill?

Jasper County has sent out the new garbage bills for the 1st Quarter of 2006.  In small print about ½ way down the page, it states you can save $12 if you pay annually.  This is hard to catch because no $$ signs are used.  However, the TWG suggests you don’t pay your bill until it is due—3/1/06.

 

City police chief Dan Norris has not paid his garbage bills for approximately 2 years.  His court case will be heard the week of 2/13/06.  Let’s wait to see how the judge rules before paying our own garbage bills.  If some people don’t have to pay, why should the rest of us have to pay?

 

The garbage billing system has always caused some bewilderment.  Have you ever heard of a company that performs a service (no matter how poor that service is) that gets paid no matter what?  Jasper County is responsible for sending out the bills and collecting the fees and has to hire a clerk to do this.  ADS gets paid if they perform the service or not and if the customer pays or not.  The county is on the hook to pay.

 

ADS and the garbage service were on the agenda frequently in 2005.  The service was talked about, debated, and condemned.  As of this date, there is no new contract.  ADS wants the County to extend the contract for 2 years, and they promise to do better (and increase the rates 3% a year).  Chairman Bernard said he’d never agree to extend the contract.  He feels the county should get out of the contract because of “non-performance” on behalf of ADS.  Citizens have complained constantly about the service, including not having their garbage picked up, having garbage picked up whenever ADS decides to, the cans being thrown in the ditch or left part way out in the road, and many other complaints.  Several people complained that the can was left in the middle of the driveway so they had to stop on the highway to get the can out of the way.   Other complaints include having to pay for service that is not used.  The TWG has heard of people having to pay for “guest houses”, vacation homes that are used maybe 2 weeks a year, and other buildings with electricity.  Ms. Billerman used to tell everyone that if it had electricity, you had to pay for garbage service—it didn’t matter if anyone lived there or not.

 

Never in all the discussion have we ever heard one alternative mentioned by any of the commissioners—such as convenience centers.  Newton and Butts County (as well as many others in the state) have built convenience centers and the people seem to be very happy with them.  You can take garbage as well as glass, paper, aluminum, metal, and cardboard for recycling. 

 

It’s about 2 weeks until the court hearing for Chief Norris.  Let’s wait until then to see if everyone has to pay their garbage bill before rushing to pay ours.  And when you do pay your bill, make sure you go before 4:00pm—people have found that the clerk refuses to take your money after 4:00pm (even though the office doesn’t close until 4:30pm).

 

Even though it was left out of the minutes (after specifically being requested to be included), the TWG feels people should know that Commissioner Pennamon took a $500 donation from ADS during his campaign against James Wright.  Taking campaign contributions from a vendor the county deals with appears to be a serious conflict of interest.  Especially when the vendor has caused so many people so much trouble. 
 

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