City, Advanced call for help from landlords

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Members of the Selma City Council held a special meeting Monday to meet with landlords in the area — telling them they needed their help in code enforcement issues and garbage collection services through Advanced Disposal.

Landlords bantered back with questions, complaints and concerns about the new garbage company and many were confused about the city ordinance where landlords get tenants to sign garbage affidavits confirming they have setup a garbage service.

“This is just one phase of our action plan to help eradicate code enforcement issues,” council president Corey Bowie told the landlords — more than 20 of them that met in the council chambers Monday. “We need your help … this will be a win-win if you help us. You will have better home values if the neighborhoods are better, safer.”

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After city attorney Jimmy Nunn walked through garbage and weed ordinances with those in attendance, Lynn Gowan with Advanced Disposal came to the meeting to take questions — and he received many.

Nunn explained the landlords are responsible for making sure their tenants set up garbage services.

“The ordinance that we drafted and that was on the table three years ago stated that the landlords would be responsible for the fees of their tenants,” Nunn said, explaining that after the initial garbage setup, then the tenant becomes responsible for paying.

But landlords wanted to know about how the shift in garbage services in February affected that ordinance.

Two landlords complained about tenants not receiving services and receipts for their debit card payments, while several others were concerned the garbage routes for Ward 3 were abruptly changed last week without notice. Gowan told them what problems the company has faced since its arrival and why that is causing some confusion and problems.

“We have 4,800 customers that are active — that means customers in the city who are paying their bills,” Gowan admitted. “735 customers are on stop service and we are picking up their garbage carts and work some way to try and get their bill. We have already had to pick up about 750 carts for people that either didn’t pay their bill or there were extra carts out there in parts that no one knew about.”

Gowan went on to list other frustrations with picking up garbage in the city including their drivers being threatened, guns being pulled on them as they repossess carts and being chased down the street when trying to repossess carts.

Gowan assured those at the meeting he would work to resolve the same problems the city wants to resolve — code enforcement issues by making sure everyone pays for the garbage services.