By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
The Athens City Council voted to close the City’s collection site Monday night.
The action came for two reasons:
- State rules call for community collection sites to be registered with the TCEQ, however that has not been the case in Athens in the past. Complying with this requirement could bring the site under closer scrutiny from the state and officials worry that could lead to liability issues.
- The collection site does not support itself. Through fees, the collection site brought in about $14,000 last year, but it cost $55,000 to operate the site. That’s a $40,000 tax subsidy to keep the site open, which was something council members did not want to see continue.
The City staff worked with Republic Services to come up with alternative plans for curbside bulk trash pickup, but the council decided not to go that route because of concerns it would be complicated for residents and the price could escalate after an initial three-year contract.
Athens residents can still use the county dumps in each of the four precincts.
The actual closing date for the collection site has not been determined, said Managing Director of Public Services Ryan Adams, but it won’t happen immediately. There will be a process during which the City will notify residents of the closure.
The action came on a 4-1 vote with Mayor Monte Montgomery voting nay.