City considers fee to businesses

Published 10:51 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Non-exclusive franchise requests were the topic of discussion at the Brundidge City Council Tuesday.

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas told the council that, according to Section 220 of the State Constitution, solid waste collection companies must be licensed businesses or have franchise authorization to operate within the corporate limits of a city.

Thomas said there are five solid waste collection companies, four private and one public, that have dumpsters within the city.

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The companies are operating without a license or an active franchise.

In order for these companies to do business in Brundidge, the city could charge a fee up to 5 percent of a company’s monthly fee to the businesses.

“Most cities that charge fees charge 3 percent,” Thomas said. “More than likely, this charge is passed on to the customers.”

Charging a fee and the percentage for a license would be up to the council. Floating the solid waste to the Brundidge landfill would also be an option for companies doing business in the three-mile corporate limit of the city.

Thomas said that, although the council did not have to make a decision at its Tuesday meeting, the members should be ready to move forward in the next month or so.

The council worked from a two-item agenda that included a review of the city’s February financials.

Thomas said the city’s overall financial picture looks good with both revenues and expenditures at or close to budget projections. However, city’s revenue generated from gas taxes is taking a dip.

“This is a state shared tax and, because it is a per-gallon tax, the indication is that people are just not buying as much gas,” Thomas said.

Mayor Jimmy Ramage said, too, that the city is financially sound.

“Ad valorem taxes are up but sales taxes are down, not dramatically, but nevertheless, down,” he said. “But at the end of the day, things are positive.”

The council okayed the development of specifications for two new police vehicles.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said newer model police vehicles are smaller than the models his department is running.

“That means that we can’t take optional equipment, such as cages, from the vehicles that we have now and install it in these smaller cars,” Davenport said.

The Brundidge City Council will meet at 11 a.m. on May 15 at Brundidge City Hall. The council will resume its regular meeting time of 4 p.m. in June. The meetings are open to the public.