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Martin Board to face difficult decisions ahead

Martin Board to face difficult decisions ahead
For years Martin residents have taken it for granted that the city will pick up their freshly pruned private hedges and their old mattresses, but with the Martin landfill just about full, the Martin Board of Aldermen know that they have reached a point where hard decisions are required to determine what kind of pickup, outside of regular garbage, residents receive in the future and who will do it.
At Monday evening’s meeting, the Board grappled with the question of the landfill, pulling together estimates for what a replacement would in theory cost, about $1.775 million if the city bought another 100 acres at $5,000 an acre. Last year it cost the city just over $307,000 to  run the landfill with estimates for this year running as high as $319,000.
Public Works Director Billy Wagster stated the obvious about the landfill when he said that ”one of these days, the state will make us close it.” Already the state has told the city that they have only about a year left on the landfill. In separate comments after the meeting, Wagster said that so far the city has bought some time on the landfill by stopping the pick up on most construction debris. But city trucks still pick up at least a truckload a day of furniture and other abandoned household items.
Eighty percent of what the city picks up is brush which the city burns, says Wagster. In Monday’s meeting the aldermen unanimously agreed to solicit two kinds of bids on all curbside pickup excluding Barker Brothers garbage pickup. One bid will include brush pickup and one would exclude brush pickup.
Alderman David Belote clarified that the board was either going to go with the bid from outside companies or build a landfill. Mayor Brundige said he hoped that they would have the bids before the next meeting and that the estimates on the landfill would give the aldermen “something to think about in the meantime.”
Some discussion from the floor and among the aldermen centered around the difficulty of locating a new landfill. “No one wants one near them,” summed Alderman Terry Hankins.
In other business it was agreed that Tom Payne would serve a four year term on the Weakley County Economic Development Board to June 2015.  The board also approved the request of MTD Products to create a turn lane off Industrial Park Lane onto Highway 431 at an estimated cost of $6,280.  Ford Construction will do the work.
The next meeting of the City of Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 9.
wcp 4/12/11


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