The Upson County Commissioners received some feedback on the new garbage service requirements at their regular meeting held on July 28 when local citizen Ed Webber spoke to the board. Mr. Webber stated he had not signed up for garbage service because he had no use for it since he recycles; however even after explaining this to Code Enforcement Officer Susan Morris, he was given a summons to appear in court to answer the charges. He asked the board to consider tweaking the ordinance to better accommodate their constituents.
“I’ve been recycling for over 33 years at my home. I have taken my trash, my glass, my metal and plastic to the Barnesville recycling center ever since I have been in this home,” said Webber, who lives near the Upson/Lamar county line. “The paper I use in my own residence because I have a wood burning stove and that’s my only source of heat. Plus I have a grill outside to start fires and a fire pit and I use that. I’ve been doing this for 33 years and now I get a summons. It’s almost like an oxymoron, mandatory service; I don’t think services should be mandatory.”
Webber continued, stating he did not find what the county is charging for the garbage service to be unreasonable, but it is just not something he will use. He added that he feels Morris is being a bit over zealous and the summons are worded so strongly it makes it sound like he shot someone. However, he understands the county has a need for garbage service, but asked if the ordinance could be tweaked to better suit those who recycle like he does.
“I was wondering if we could tweak the ordinance a little bit to allow some leeway for people who are actually doing something better than what the county actually requires,” said Webber. “I’m recycling and doing over and above. I don’t add anything to the dump. I think if everybody did that it would be pretty beneficial to our whole environment.”
Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston stated he agreed the environment would be a lot better if everyone recycled. He added the commissioners were still working on the garbage ordinance and that he thought they had asked Morris to back off a bit on the enforcement until they have finalized the document. He also noted that perhaps they could come up with a way to give customers a break if they could show proof they were recycling, but that is something the board would have to look into to see if it is even feasible. He thanked Webber for his comments and stated the board would take them under advisement.
In other business, the commissioners approved the mid-year budgets. According to County Manager Jim Wheeless, there are no increases in any department. The board approved the following for fiscal year 2016: the Griffin Judicial Circuit for $176,673; McIntosh Trail CSB Counseling Center for $75,000; Upson County Health Department for $200,873; Pine Mountain Library system for $176,138; DFCS for $48,000; Public Defender for $365,402 and the District Attorney’s Office for $200,143.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1