Debris causing roadside problems

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

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The city is reviewing the way it handles roadside pickups and is considering a revision to the method.

Public works makes routine stops around the city to pick up debris left by the side of the road, but Jake Wingard, director, is saying enough is enough.

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Pickup crews are finding themselves cleaning up after construction workers and lawn services, and having to pickup someone else’s slack is creating their slack.

Wingard proposed to the Troy City Council on Tuesday night a revision to the curbside service that would help operations run smoother.

Licensed contractors, who are hired by residents to do work on houses or yards, should be required by the city to place leftover materials and debris in bags. Then, he said, Public Works should come behind and pickup the bagged leftovers.

And the council agreed with him.

"If we do this, this will be the hardest thing we have ever tried to enforce in this city," said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

However, before the revision can be enforced, the Council has to figure out the definition of a contractor.

"Once we know what defines a contractor, we’ll know who to charge," said Councilman Jose Henderson.

The council noted that many younger people in the city drive around and cut several yards for extra money, but they are not licensed.

There are also people who cut a few yards here and there, and they are not licensed.

"You’ve got contractors, who are not licensed, who are going around doing work and we sometimes call these people the ‘shade tree folks.’ You’ve got a lot of these people who are just doing that to help folks and you can’t police that," said John Witherington, council president.

The council has also heard complaints about this practice being unfair competition, because the unlicensed "contractors" are able to offer lower rates.

The city has placed regulations on what it will pick up.

When debris exceeds six feet long or an appliance weighs more than 65 lbs., the pickup is considered a "special pickup," which would cost the homeowner $45.

The revision will not apply to residents who have done their own yard work and disposed of the debris by the side of the road.

Also at the Troy City Council meeting, Lunsford said he was excited about meeting the new CEO of Edge Regional Medical Center, Bill Donohoo.

"He’s going to have some big shoes to fill. Rusty did a great job raising the morale of the hospital," he said.

And Sheila Jackson was officially awarded the

"Unforgettable Face" award Monday night in Mobile.