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County pushes forward with new manned dump site on Beck Branch Rd.

A south Grady County resident, who owns property next door to where a proposed manned dump site is to be established on Beck Branch Road offered Grady County commissioners $40,000 Tuesday night to purchase the county property in hopes of the site being moved elsewhere, but commissioners did not accept the offer.
Commissioner June Knight noted that Steve Rudd’s offer was equal to $8,000 per acre, but Rudd could not identify a nearby replacement site when questioned by Commissioner Keith Moye.
Commissioner Ray Prince insisted that what the county has planned would be nothing like the existing dump site that Rudd has complained about for some time.
Commissioners say the sites will be cleaned and well maintained and by being manned, dumpster diving will become a thing of the past.
“We want to make this first one look really good,” Commissioner Moye said, and Prince added, “We want to get off on the right foot.”
Setting up the new manned site, which will be similar to the county’s only other manned site on 20th Street S.E., will not be cheap.
Grady County Road Department superintendent Stanley Elkins, who also serves as the county’s solid waste director, presented the board with cost estimates for construction of the site.
Topping the list is the cost of 350 tons of lime rock base and 575 tons of crushed asphalt that will be used at the site.
The board voted to accept the low bid of $8,225 for the 350 tons of lime rock from Cal-Mart, Inc. and $14,950 from Southern Contractors for 575 tons of crushed asphalt.
Commissioner Prince noted that the combination of lime rock and crushed asphalt will create a suitable base for when the manned site is paved in the future.
“We aren’t just throwing dirt down and that’s it. We’re going to make it where we can pave it eventually,” Grady County administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, said.
The board also accepted the low bid of $130 per month for the lease of a portapotty equipped with a hand washing station from Peaks Septic Tank. Bonds Sand Mine bid $215 a month for a unit not equipped with a hand wash station. Bond’s bid included a $35 per week cleaning fee.
The county is going to pay White Fence Company $1,500 to supply and install two, 12-foot gates at the Beck Branch site.
Commissioner Prince said that construction classes at Cairo High School have agreed to construct the attendant station houses for each of the manned sites. The county will only have to pay for the building materials.
“It’s a good project for the kids and it will save us some money,” Commissioner Prince said.
Commissioner Knight said the county should plan to have wells and septic tanks at each of the manned dump sites. She also said the buildings to be built should include bathrooms.
Prince said that would add $10,000 to $12,000 per site to the county’s costs for septic tanks and wells. He said the county could pay the $130 lease on the portapotty for a long time before justifying that expense.
Commissioner Prince also said that bathrooms could be added later or the buildings could be designed for bathroom facilities to be added later.
Staffing of the manned sites is another issue. According to Elkins, it will cost nearly $30,000 annually for the salaries for three part-time employees to man each site.
Rudd on Tuesday night requested the county move the fence back off the right-of-way of Beck Branch Road and consider a vegetative buffer consisting of Leland cypress trees. “I may even buy them for you,” Rudd said.
Administrator Johnson said he was not opposed to some beautification or shifting back the fencing from the roadside if the cost to do so was not prohibitive.
Commissioner Knight said if the county requires private property owners to comply with set backs the county should also comply. Elkins said he would look at what would be required to relocate the fencing and to provide space for trees or shrubbery to be planted so that it could be pruned and maintained.
Commission Chairman LaFaye Copeland asked what could be done about the dump site on Fred Collins Road, which she described as “terrible.” Elkins said that site was not large enough for a manned site and would eventually be closed.
County officials say locating a suitable site for a manned dump site in Whigham is a top priority at this time.
Johnson said he wanted to move forward with the Beck Branch site as quickly as possible. The county has already received 15 applications for the three part-time positions advertised and more are welcomed. To apply, contact the County Road Department, 1978 North Broad St., Cairo.

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