Oktibbeha County supervisors may start the year with the approval of a request for proposals to change the county’s waste disposal services.
Earlier this month, supervisors authorized County Administrator Emily Garrard to begin preparing to seek proposals for waste services for the county. The unanimous decision came after supervisors expressed some frustrations with the county’s current service provided through Golden Triangle Waste Services.
Garrard told The Dispatch she plans to have a request for proposals for supervisors to review and approve when they meet on Tuesday.
Should Oktibbeha County decide to end its contract with Golden Triangle Waste Services, the county would have to provide 90 days’ notice.
District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller said the county will look at other waste service providers because it’s had issues with several contractual obligations Golden Triangle Waste Services is supposed to provide.
For example, Miller said, Golden Triangle Waste Services doesn’t replace trash cans as it should. Rather, that duty has fallen to supervisors.
“That burden, before I was even elected, fell on the supervisors because it wasn’t being handled in a timely manner,” she said.
Sometimes, Miller said, Golden Triangle Waste Services doesn’t have cans available when supervisors request replacements.
District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery said the can issue has been a source of ire for some supervisors, and he claims he receives calls about garbage cans almost daily from residents. While he said it doesn’t bother him personally, it is one issue the county hopes to resolve with Golden Triangle Waste Services.
“That has been a little bit of a rub with other (supervisors),” Montgomery said. “To me, I don’t mind taking the cans out, but it’s ultimately supposed to be Golden Triangle Waste’s responsibility.”
Montgomery said the bulk of the funding for Golden Triangle Waste Services comes from county residents, who pay $13 per month for weekly trash pickup.
“We’re just trying to find value, if there is any out there,” Montgomery said. “When I say value, I mean trying to keep the garbage rates as low as possible and the level of service where it needs to be.
“It’s not that we’re going to change,” he added. “… We’re going to see what the RFPs say and go from there.”
Golden Triangle Waste Services was formed in 1997 to provide garbage pickup for Oktibbeha, Lowndes and Webster counties. It also provides services to Choctaw County and the cities of Columbus, Eupora and Mathiston.
Board President Orlando Trainer said he understands the issues with getting new cans is frustrating for supervisors. However, he said he thinks the county and Golden Triangle Waste Services can possibly resolve the issue by discussing their problems.
Still, he said, he’d be open to a number of solutions, depending on what options are available.
“I think we can resolve whatever issues we have,” Trainer said. “Whether that results in entering into a new agreement or confirming what we have with (Golden Triangle Waste Services), either is fine as long as it benefits the public.
“The issues we’ve had through the years, I don’t think they can be solved without communication,” he added.
A Golden Triangle Waste Services representative was not available for comment when The Dispatch contacted the organization on Wednesday.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.