Trash collection rates in Greene County are going up.

At its Sept. 20 meeting, the Greene County Quorum Court approved an increase for Shelton Sanitation Co. from the current $18.75 a month to $21 a month, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Greene County Judge Rusty McMillon said there is a 10 percent discount for senior citizens, and a 15 percent discount for those who pay for the service on a annual basis. “’We are asking for an increase to offset the expenses we have incurred in the last five years,’” McMillon read from a letter he received from Shelton Sanitation. McMillon noted the Shelton letter had referenced a need to buy another sanitation truck and replace many of the trash collection cans provided to customers.

The company has not had a rate increase in five years, McMillon read from the Shelton letter. He said the company would send out bills December 1 for quarterly and annual customers. In response to a question from District 8 Justice of the Peace Dean Wooldridge, Shelton CEO Alan Shelton said his company, rather than customers, covered the cost of any replacement of trash containers. “If we damage them, we replace them,” he said.

Shelton qualified his statement in response to a question from District 4 Justice Jonathon Davis. “I don’t get a complaint about the rate,” said Davis, “I get a complaint about the can. But if the can is damaged, you will replace it at no charge to the customer?”

“It depends,” Shelton replied. “If the can is damaged due to our stuff or due to wearing out, we’ll replace at our cost.” He said the average life of a can is about 13 years.

On the other hand, Shelton said, if the can is damaged due to neglect – “some customer leaves it out seven days a week, and it gets hit by a car,” he said – or is stolen, the customer is responsible.

Shelton has 3,200 customers in Greene County. The court approved the rate increase by a 10-0 vote.

The court also approved an amendment to the 2020 appropriation ordinance (for the 2021 calendar year). Chief among the changes to appropriations was a $24,594 increase in funding for the county jail top cover overtime costs. “The jail has a high turnover,” Davis said at the Finance Committee meeting immediately preceding the regular meeting of the Quorum Court. “And that’s no matter who the sheriff is. And with that being said, the jailers that are left have to cover other shifts, while the new employees are in training, or while they are waiting to hire additional help.”

Other changes to the ordinance covered $12,297 in overtime pay for the deputies. Money for both increases will come from the Law Enforcement Fund.

In addition, the Greene County Public Library saw a small but significant $421.27 increase in its appropriation. “The library has had some older part-time workers,” Davis said, “that, due to COVID, are not coming back to work.”

Davis clarified that “part-time” in the library’s context could mean as little as three to five hours a week to perform their particular tasks, rather than the typical 20 hours a week. Davis said librarian Mike Rogers has therefore asked to increase the number of full-time library employees from seven to eight, and reduce the number of part-time employees from eight to five. “With this change, it’s going to net about a 10-hour increase per week,” Davis said, “plus the benefit package [for the additional full-time employee].”

The rates of pay will remain the same, he said.

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