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|Garbage fees to rise in Vidalia|
The Vidalia Town Council has decided to continue operation of its sanitation department, but the result will be a rise in garbage pickup rates for residential and commercial customers.
Mayor Hyram Copeland said Wednesday morning rates for residential customers will likely rise by $6.45 per month to $21.95, up from the present monthly rate of $15.50.
The town considered hiring a private contractor to handle sanitation program, which Copeland said would have been less expensive than the present $800,000 annual cost of operation. The sanitation department employs eight people and operates two trucks.
"The public wanted to keep the present operation," Copeland said. "We received a lot of input from the people. This is what they wanted."
He said commercial rates will also rise, but the amount has yet to be determined.
"Right now rates range from $25 to $100 per month," he said.
The city has 1,889 sanitation customers, including 1,721 residential and 168 commercial.
Copeland said the town will renegotiate its disposal site tipping fee of $37 per ton prior to September when that contract expires.
"I think we'll get that down to $18 per month, which will save us some money," he said. "Right now we're losing about $14,000 per month but that will be less when the tipping fees go down in September and new rates go into place. Hopefully we'll be able to break even."
Copeland said the sanitation department will continue to provide present services.
"We have four men working on each of our two trucks," Copeland said. "We'll continue to pick up limbs and provide back door pickup.
"On each truck one man goes ahead and brings the garbage to the curb, two put it on the truck and a fourth man returns the container. It's a true service and it's what the people want and they've let us know that they're willing to pay a little more money to keep things as they are."
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