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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Talk turns trashy at supes’ meeting


Garbage in and garbage out is now on the minds of county supervisors, following the Sept. 6 meeting.
County administrator Clifton Johnson said Waste Management officials had been reviewing the county’s contract and noticed that the county had not been charged for “non residential waste.” They began charging the county $20 a ton at the end of July. The county’s bill for the month of August was $4878.20.
Johnson said Waste Management  is able to distinguish between resident and commercial garbage by which truck brings it  in. MidSouth Waste is the carrier for residential garbage, and the county does not pay for anything they bring in. Any waste brought in by county trucks is being charged per ton.

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Supervisor James Dunn asked Road Manager Billy Watson if county crews were picking up lots of construction garbage, especially around the Cut-off. Watson said they  were seeing some; the county is averaging 20 to 30 loads a week.
Johnson said the county was still receiving tipping fees from other counties using the landfill. In turn, the county was getting a reduced rate on non residential waste. Other counties pay Waste Management $26 a ton, while Tunica County pays $20 a ton.
Supervisor Cedric Burnett suggested that the county try to negotiate the rate down even further. Watson said there were a number of options for the county to reduce what was being spent.
Johnson said loads from the Battle Arena account for some of what the county is taking to the landfill.
“They’re about to get us so get ready,” Watson said.
Board president Billy Pegram said Waste Management could have been charging the county all along.
Burnett again said he thought the county should come up with a “counter proposal” on the rate.
Supervisor Paul Battle asked how many dumpsters the county has in remote, unwatched areas.
Watson said most weren’t.
“We’ve got them in just about every corner, except for in Beat 1,” Watson said.
Supervisor James Dunn suggested that the county consolidate dumpsters in order to monitor them a little closer.
There was some discussion on putting cameras on the dumpsters, but Battle said he felt that out of county users were taking advantage of the dumpsters more.
The board ultimately directed Watson to remove several dumpsters in the county to see if that would help reduce the Waste Management charges.
Dunn later suggested that the dumpster at the cutoff may be more closely monitored in order for the county to be eligible for FEMA reimbursement.
Watson said a monitor was in place, but private contractors are using the dumpster instead of hauling waste to the landfill themselves.
Dunn said he was in favor of helping citizens, but not contractors.
‘The downside is we’re absorbing the cost by taking it to the landfill,” Dunn said.
Watson said contractors are telling customers that they will have to charge more for the work if they have the added expense of hauling off what they tear down.
“We’re just in the first month or so of this,” Dunn said. “It could go on for six months and we could get up to $500,000.”
Pegram asked Emergency Management Director Randy Stewart about the chance of getting a reimbursement from FEMA. Stewart said they were slim, unless the county began following FEMA’s very strict guidelines.
Johnson said the county would only be out the cost of having a monitor or two if they followed the guidelines. Right now, they are paying 100 percent of costs associated with debris removal.
Dunn made a motion to follow FEMA guidelines. It died for lack of a second.

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