Fiscal Court Prepared For Legal Action Against Trash Collection Solicitor According To Current Ordinance
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Fiscal Court doubled down today on possible action against a new trash collection service that has been discussed on Facebook.
In today's Edmonson County Fiscal Court meeting, Judge Executive Wil Cannon said that the county had to adhere to state and local laws that would not allow any other trash collection in the county until the county's waste management plan was up for renewal. County Treasurer Tammi Willhite said that plan is not up for renewal until June 30, 2022.
Cannon said county resident Elvis Lindsey had posted/commented on Facebook that he was pursuing his own trash collection service, which according to a county ordinance cannot legally happen in Edmonson County as part of the county's current waste management agreement with the state.
County Attorney Greg Vincent said that there are current county ordinances in place that grant an exclusive license to one single trash provider in the county that is awarded the bid for the county's services, which is currently Scott Waste.
"They have the the only license to perform this service in the county," Vincent said.
He said the county is required to adhere to guidelines concerning how trash is picked up, disposed of, and it must include at least 90% countywide pickup, if not more.
"The ordinance that set all that up was passed back in 2008 and has been going fine since then," the County Attorney said. "This ordinance was passed because at the time this took place, we had almost a dozen different trash carriers in the county. Some actually had garbage trucks but most of them were pickup trucks with wooden racks on the sides and they were losing as much trash along the road as they were hauling off to begin with. There was no uniformity like 'Bee Spring on Monday, or Chalybeate on Tuesday.' You had trash pickup on every day of the week, trucks of different sizes going up and down the highway, it was very unsafe, wasn't regulated, and we (Edmonson County) couldn't qualify for any grants because we couldn't show that these guys were taking it to an actual certified dump as opposed to their sinkhole or a neighbor's yard and burning it."
Vincent said under the ordinance, anyone other than the contracted company with the winning bid who solicits trash pickup can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor charge for each violation, such as if another company goes out and picks up 5 new customers; that would be 5 different charges.
"According to evidence gathered, he's soliciting business but has not started a pickup," Vincent continued. "In that situation, I couldn't charge him with a crime, but what I intended to do was to file a lawsuit in Edmonson Circuit Court seeking a restraining order and injunction that would prevent him from operating this type of business."
Sheriff Shane Doyle reported to the court that as of today, according to Lindsey's Facebook comments, Lindsey was holding off on the garbage route for the time being.
Judge Cannon said Lindsey has neither called the Judge Executive's Office nor has contacted any other member of the fiscal court regarding his proposed venture; however, the Judge's office also said no one from the fiscal court has attempted to contact Lindsey directly, either. All the discussion up to this point has revolved around what has been posted to Facebook.
"Look, this is a law. It's an ordinance," Cannon said. "We'd be taking these measures with anyone that's violating our ordinances. He's more than welcome to call us about this, but we're not going to conduct county business over Facebook."
In a message sent to Elvis Lindsey from the Edmonson Voice, we asked him if he was going to continue soliciting business for a new trash pickup service. He responded with "Yes I am wanting to what you think."
We also asked for his response to where the fiscal court says this action is currently illegal. He replied "I don't think it is right to the people. People are upset about it."
Other guidelines set by the state in the county's current waste management plan include requiring trash pickup companies to:
Magistrate Mark Meeks made a motion for County Attorney Vincent to initiate the civil process in the event Lindsey continues to solicit trash pickup business under the current county ordinance, which was seconded by Magistrate Charlie Tarter. The court then voted unanimously to accept that motion.