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Mayor breaks ties on garbage truck buy

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 6:18 am

Fayetteville Mayor John Ed Underwood cast the deciding vote on two issues last week – both relating to the city’s anticipated purchase of a new garbage collection truck.

The first of those votes came on a motion for the city to take out a three-year note not to exceed $175,000 to pay for the vehicle, while the second was on a motion to authorize the bidding process for the truck to begin.

The votes followed a discussion during which board members argued their points, ranging from mounting repair costs on the city’s existing two sanitation trucks to the city’s deviation from its original plan to fund the vehicle’s acquisition from revenues generated by increased sanitation rates.

“We’ve spent around $10,000 in repairs in just the last couple of months, and in looking at this and trying to find funding, I believe we could spend upwards to around $30,000 on these older trucks,” said Alderman Dorothy Small, discussing the city’s two existing sanitation trucks, one of which is nine years old and other, 16.

Vice Mayor Gwen Shelton noted that she was opposed to the city increasing its sanitation rates earlier this year – “I thought we were going to wait until we got the revenue in,” she said. “I understand the truck is breaking down and we have to act on it, but again, my concern is we state one thing, and then we go and we change and we spend … I’m just saying we need to think long term.”

Ultimately, according to the proposal, payments for the three-year note would come from funds generated by the increase in garbage collection rates – “The plan would be for us to build up the solid waste fund and then make payments out of it,” said City Administrator Scott Collins.

The vote on both the measures to secure the note and to begin the bidding process for the new truck were identical – Alderman Danny Bryant, Vice Mayor Shelton and Alderman Marty Pepper voted opposed, while Aldermen Dorothy Small, Michael Whisenant, and Tom Young voted in its favor. Mayor Underwood cast the deciding vote in favor of both measures.

In other business, the voted to approve a Fast Track funding proposal and payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT or PILT) plan that would help facilitate a $3 million investment by C&S Plastics.

According to plans, the C&S expansion would add 30,000 to 40,000 square feet in manufacturing space to its Fayetteville facility in the joint city/county industrial park on the Winchester Highway. The expansion would result in 75 new jobs paying an average wage of $17 per hour.

The funding proposal will see the city put up $28,771 in matching funds, with a like a mount expected to come from Lincoln County, for the 13-percent local match. The state would providing 87 percent of the funding at $385,089. Altogether, the proposal would represent a $441,632 savings for the company.

Additionally, the board voted to name the new pool currently under construction the Fayetteville Municipal Swimming Pool. The name marks a departure from the name given to the old pool named Younger Pitts Municipal Pool.