Re-think closing transfer stations

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 25, 2006

To the Editor:

It was reported in the Dec. 12 issue of The Selma Times-Journal that the county commission is planning to close both of the garbage transfer stations in our county.

It seems that most people are unaware that this is even being considered, but without exception, everyone I have heard who knows about this plan is strongly opposed.

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Commissioner Roy Moore stated in that article that the commission didn’t have to hold a public hearing on the planned closings but would to let the public know their options.

I would like to remind Mr. Moore that the purpose of a public hearing is not for politicians to list options on a foregone conclusion; it is to provide an opportunity for the public to be heard, and in a representative government elected officials should heed the will of the public.

If the public wants the station to remain open, the county commission needs to listen.

Are any of us so naive as to believe that everyone in the county will pay for private garbage pick up and transport if the transfer stations close?

Garbage has to be put somewhere, and without a transfer station we can be certain that some people will see our roadsides and ditches as suitable substitutes.

Our county is littered enough without adding illegal dumping to the problem.

Those who do pay for private pick up can expect to see their fees increase considerably if alternative solutions are removed and garbage has to be hauled further away by the private companies.

And if the county commission has any idea of solving this problem by initiating a mandatory garbage pick up fee, let’s not forget the current debacle over unpaid garbage fees in Selma.

Why should we think that enforcement would be any more successful in the county?

Moore stated that the county “couldn’t afford” to maintain the transfer stations any more.

As long as I can remember we have had either a dump or transfer stations.

It is not true that citizens dump their garbage at these stations free of charge, as Moore said.

Our tax dollars pay for those stations, and most people expect this basic function of the county government to continue.

If we can no longer afford it then we should be questioning the commission’s ability to manage those tax dollars.

Steven Fitts