Benham considering outsourcing garbage service

By Joe P. Asher jasher@civitasmedia.com

January 24, 2014

The Benham City Council made a move toward turning the city’s garbage collection service over to Waste Connections, a private company during a special called meeting Thursday.

City Clerk Jessica Smith gave the council some figures concerning the city’s garbage truck to illustrate some of the costs the city currently pays.

According to Smith, the city is currently paying for all maintenance on the truck, including oil changes and other expenses.

“But then, we don’t drive it all that much so we’ll have a month where we change it and then we’ll have a month where we don’t. But then a tire for it is between $300 and $400 a piece… and we’re looking at buying at least three tires,” said Smith.

Mayor Wanda Humphrey mentioned the tires on the truck are worn.

“The tires are so thin you could run across a carpet tack and cause a flat,” said Humphrey.

Council member David Kidwell mentioned one of the front tires has a split in it.

“If you have a blowout, that can kill somebody,” said Kidwell. “The truck’s a liability. It’s a danger. It’s a danger to the people that drive it; it’s a danger to our community.”

Council member Doug Robinson inquired about the cost of repairing the old truck.

“I have to say Doug, I’m not concerned about the price of tires or a clutch,” said Kidwell. “This thing is so old that I’m looking at it as non-repairable. It is a liability. It’s a danger to our community and the guys that are on it.”

Robinson said he didn’t see the truck being a danger to the community.

“It is if it wrecks,” said Kidwell.

Robinson stated a blow out would not be a problem if new tires were put on the truck.

“In all reality, we don’t have the money to buy a new truck,” said Smith. “Ever since the accident at the high school with the truck being hit, it’s just not right. It shakes and does a lot of things. I don’t know if they are repairable.”

A council member mentioned costs of maintenance and performing garbage collection are increasing.

“We’re still collecting funds if we allow them (Waste Connections) to do it,” said Kidwell.

The council decided to have a representative from Waste Connections speak with the council about the details of having Waste Connections take over the city’s garbage service.

Joe P. Asher may be reached at 606-573-4510, ext. 113 or on Twitter at joe_hde