City to host public hearing with landlords on garbage issues

Published 10:22 pm Friday, October 13, 2017

The Selma City Council’s Public Works and General Service Committee is asking rental property owners for help to solve a growing garbage issue in the city.

Hundreds of residents are behind on their garbage bill, hundreds are without service, and the problem seems to be getting worse.

“We called the meeting because we have too many citizens in Selma that have rental property that are not paying their trash bill, so they are dumping their trash on the street,” said councilman Sam Randolph, who chairs the committee.

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Selma City Hall at 6 p.m. in the council chamber.

Sea Coast Disposal said earlier this week they will start Monday picking up between 700 to 1,000 garbage cans for customers who are behind on their payments. According to Sea Coast, that is almost one third of their nearly 3,200 customers.

“We’re trying to hear from the landlords so they can get an understanding of why it’s important for landlords and property owners to be responsible for trash on their property,” Randolph said Thursday. “We’re trying to beautify our city, and we can’t do it without everybody’s cooperation, and we’re not getting cooperation from a lot of rental property.”

A city ordinance requires every household in the city to sign up for garbage service from Sea Coast, who the city contracted for garbage service.

Another ordinance makes landlords responsible for making sure their tenants sign up and maintain service. Apartment complex owners are also supposed to provide garbage service.

But none of that seems to matter.

Earlier this year, the city asked rental property owners to provide proof of service for the tenants but only a few followed through with that request.

Randolph said now, the city is asking for input from landlords on possible options and any other ideas they have to help alleviate the issue.

One option, Randolph said, is adding the cost of garbage to the rent. Another option is getting the legislature to tie in garbage service with property taxes.

Randolph said he is not in favor of one option over the other. He just wants to find a solution that works.

“I want to hear from the taxpayers and the property owners before I make my decision,” Randolph said. “This problem has been going on for years in Selma. We’re just trying to get a handle on all of this illegal dumping in our city.”

Randolph encourages all rental property owners in Selma to attend the hearing.