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Council, Residents Fed Up With Garbage
April 19, 2017

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At the Tuesday, April 11 meeting of Pine Grove's city council, council members and residents expressed frustrations with the town's garbage pick-up service.

Residents claim that despite paying for the service, garbage is not being collected twice a week.

Resident Tina Harris suggested that the city, if it is not in a position to provide garbage pick-up service, call Martyn's Services to take over trash pick-up for the town. Harris argued that the town makes excuses as to why it doesn't pick up garbage, arguing that if the residents didn't pay their bills, and made excuses concerning lack of payment, "(The town) wouldn't want to hear anymore excuses."

Council member Cindy Figler said the town had already reached out to Martyn's and that "They would charge a lot more, and they would only pick up once a week, and pick up a limited number of bags."

Another frustrated resident suggested the town deduct the cost of garbage pick-up from residents' bills, if the town cannot provide the service.

Council member Barbara King said she has attended a lot of solid waste authority meetings and has learned that if Pine Grove stops garbage pick-up, Martyn's would have to haul the garbage, "because it is in Martyn's jurisdiction."

Residents, in attendance at the meeting, complained that the town's service wasn't reliable.

Mayor Roy Justice noted that the town has two problems with pick-up service. He said one of the town's garbage truck drivers had left the job. Another driver has recently returned to the job after a leave of absence.

"Hopefully we can get back to two times a week," Justice said.

Justice himself expressed frustration with the garbage pick-up situation.

He said stray cats have been tearing into his garbage bags.

Richard Price, a Pine Grove resident, said he had spoken to Pine Grove City Recorder Rhonda Spencer. Price said he had told Spencer that he is a CDL-licensed driver and would drive the garbage truck if his work could be deducted from his garbage pick-up bill.

"Why was a truck just sitting there when you had a driver saying he wanted to drive?" Price said.

Justice said the town would not be allowed to deduct the amount from Price's bill. Price said he would fill out an application, or whatever is needed to do the job. He said he drives a school bus but would be back in the area in enough time to pick up garbage.

In another matter, local residents Steve and Connie Nixon complained because they had sewage water backed in their basement for three days. The Nixons inquired as to why the town did not pick up the necessary part - a breaker -, to repair the sewer system, at Martin's Hardware. Steve Nixon said he ended up changing the breaker himself.

The Nixons said they were approached by town worker a couple of days later. The worker was notified, by the Nixons, that they had fixed the issue themselves.

"If we had not repaired that, we would've had to go all weekend (with sewage backup)," Connie stated.

Price remarked, as to the garbage pick-up: "Every place I've ever lived, if it is in a portable trash can, they take the trash can and dump it in the truck." Price reported that the town's workers are picking up the top garbage bags, out of the can, and leaving other smaller bags of trash.

Connie Nixon noted, "I think it is a shame that the town doesn't have people that fix sewers and work on them, instead of taking their good ol' summer time."

"They aren't taking their good old time. They just aren't doing it," Justice said, also expressing his frustration on the matter.

Residents and council also discussed unkempt properties. Resident Connie Nixon noted that she grew up in Pine Grove "and I never saw it as filthy as what it is now." Justice agreed, noting that he has only been in Pine Grove for 15 years, "and can see a big difference."

It was noted that an ordinance was found, that could possibly be used to combat the problem of unkempt properties.

In another matter, the following individuals have filed for the upcoming town election:

Mayor: Larry Huggins, Barbara King, and Johnny Haught

Recorder: Rhonda Kay Spencer

Town Council: Eva Adams, Cindy Roberts, Christopher Brent Vanderhoff, John Hurst, Casey Pingly, Stacey Judge, Cindy Figler, Richard Price, and Robin Wadsworth

Deadline to file for write-ins is 2:30 p.m., April 25.

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