City should take long look at fee garbage collection

Published 5:22 pm Saturday, September 26, 2015

The city of Selma has been given proposals from two companies that are interested in providing the city with garbage collection.

One proposal is from Advanced Disposal, the company that city currently contracts with for garbage collection.

However, Advanced Disposal is no longer interested in collecting fees from customers. Representatives have told the city that half of the customers in Selma don’t pay their bill.

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Advanced Disposal has instead proposed to bill the city for picking up garbage. This means the city would be the party responsible for collecting fees. In turn, Advanced’s monthly fee would drop from $15 to $14 a month.

Another company, Sea Coast, has proposed charging $19 a month for picking up garbage and billing the city or $20 if they are responsible for collecting fees.

We would hate to see a rate increase, especially a 25 percent one. That would likely only exacerbate the problem of people not paying their bill. It’s also unfair to the people who do pay for their service.

However, the city needs to take a long look before considering getting back into the fee collection business. At one time, the city had more than $1 million delinquent garbage fees on the books. Mayor George Evans said having the city take back over fee collection would be a “nightmare” and we tend to agree.

There’s not much time before a decision needs to be made, but there’s enough to bring in representatives from both companies to discuss their proposals.

As the saying goes, “everything is negotiable,” and it’s possible that city could still get a better rate for customers than those being offered with the city taking back on fee collection.