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City still collecting trash fees

Message from Selma to its residents: Please pay your garbage bill.

Garbage collection has put a crimp in Selma’s already tight budget. Selma residents pay about $600,000 a year in garbage pickup fees, but the program costs about $1million to manage, said Mayor George Evans.

If residents are asked to pay more, “they’d go crazy,” the mayor said.

Several months ago, the previous Selma City Council and mayor hired a collection agency to catch up the past-due accounts. At the time, some council members estimated the arrears to total about $100,000.

But the company quit in July. Since that time, the city hasn’t collected any past-due bills.

Council members aren’t exactly sure what to do about the situation. At least one, Corey Bowie, suggests the city cut back garbage collection to two days a week or outsource collection.

As far as those who don’t pay, “They need to be cited and maybe even have their names published in the newspaper,” said Councilman Cecil Williamson.