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Commissioners seek Archway aid in search for solid waste remedies

The Grady County Commission is soliciting the assistance of the University of Georgia Archway Partnership to study and evaluate the county’s solid waste service before moving forward with the consolidation of any more of its existing dumpster sites.
Earlier this year, the board closed dumpster sites on Pine Park Road and Singletary Road and consolidated those dumpsters at the 20th Street manned site south of Cairo.
Other dumpster locations have been closed at the request of property owners near Whigham and the relocation of some of those dumpsters to the campus of Whigham Elementary School has been a cause of concern for Grady County School System officials.
Dumpster sites near Midway Church and Carraway Concrete south of Cairo have been identified as potential sites to consolidate with 20th Street. It is just 3.3 miles from the current locations to the consolidated site.
Grady County Commission Vice Chairman T.D. David questioned Solid Waste Director Stanley Elkins if the 20th Street site was able to handle the increased demand following the consolidation of the sites on Pine Park and Singletary Roads.
“They are never slap full, but some of the people are going to other places, not 20th Street, but they are going somewhere,” Elkins said.
The county solid waste director and road superintendent said that the dump site located near the road department headquarters is one of the most widely utilized. According to Elkins, that site is continuously full and has to be serviced almost daily.
Elkins offered his opinion that if the sites at Midway are closed 20th Street could accommodate the garbage, but it would be a matter of getting the neighboring residents to go to 20th Street.
Grady County Commission Chairman Ray Prince said he was disturbed that City of Cairo residents were dumping garbage at the dumpsite located near the road department out of “convenience.”
Former county commissioner Charles Renaud, who was present Tuesday, responded, “That is the beauty of being a city resident. I pay city and county taxes so I can let the city pick up my garbage or I can dump it in a county dumpster because I’m paying for it.”
Prince acknowledged that was a different way of looking at the issue.
Vice Chairman David asked if there was any more “fussing” from the school system about the dumpsters at Whigham Elementary School. Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar said the additional dumpsters that had been moved to the school had been removed, but that people were continuing to go to the school to dispose of garbage.
David said people had grown accustomed to the dumpster being at the school and Commissioner Keith Moye said that unless the school system was paying for the dumpster then it could not prevent Grady County citizens from depositing garbage at those dumpsters.
Moye offered a motion to refrain from any additional consolidation until the Archway study could be conducted. Vice Chairman David offered a second and commented, “We can make a better decision after Archway studies the whole thing and makes a recommendation.”
Commissioner LaFaye Copeland asked how long it would take for the Archway study to be completed and David said he did not think it would be long.
In related news from Tuesday’s commission meeting, Vice Chairman David encouraged the board to agree to participate in a retreat to be facilitated by Archway at the behest of Grady County Lake Authority Chairman Lee Gainous. Gainous had hoped to bring together Cairo, Whigham, school system, county officials, the lake authority and others to take part in a retreat later this month.
Vice Chairman David said that the Tired Creek Lake project, while it is a county project, would have an impact on the entire community and he recommended the board not isolate the other local leaders and organizations, such as the chamber, from the effort.
The county administrator has voiced his opposition to the board’s involvement in the process and contended that some of the goals identified had already been decided.
Tobar said the board of commissioners should set the goals and determine what the goals of the lake project should be.
Chairman Prince commented, “let’s take this a step at a time. See what we’ve got and go from there. We need to contact Lee (Gainous) and see how he feels. This hasn’t been discussed at a lake authority meeting.”
After discussing the matter, the board decided to reach out to the lake authority chairman for additional information and no decision was made Tuesday.
In other business, the board:
‰Excused Tobar and County Clerk Carrie Croy before meeting for over an hour behind closed doors to discuss a personnel matter and pending litigation. No action was taken following the closed session other than to adjourn.
‰Approved the purchase of football jerseys and coaches’ shirts from Syrup City Sports at a cost of $3,598.63. Bids were solicited from BSN Sports, R&S Sporting Goods and Southern Promotions, but Syrup City Sports was the lone bidder.
‰Ratified verbal approval to pay $5,665 to CCR Environmental for mitigation monitoring work as part of the permit requirements of Tired Creek Lake.
‰Appointed Joan Powe to the board of the Department of Family and Children Services to replace the late Lanola Dunlap.
‰Authorized Chairman Prince to execute a joint resolution settling the lawsuit against Steven M. Jones and Meanders River Restoration Inc. for work done on the Tired Creek mitigation project. The board accepted a settlement of $37,500 and will net $28,125 after legal fees of $9,375 are paid. The county is not releasing any of the other defendants in the suit which includes Kent Campbell, Eco-South Inc., Environs Design Studio, LLC, Georgia Civil, INc., Cal Lauder and CalMart Inc. The Grady County Lake Authority must also authorize its chairman to execute the release.

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