Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County fiscal court met today instead of the normal fourth Monday due to a scheduling conflict with the Judge, who recently attended a conference. Magistrate Corey Vanmeter and County Attorney Greg Vincent were absent at today's meeting.
Ty Bowman, a representative from Scott Waste addressed Judge Cannon and magistrates in response to what Cannon said were numerous complaints over the past few weeks that ranged from missed stops, billing problems, and poor service.
Magistrate Mark Meeks said one resident had shared complaints of the company not picking up a few extra cardboard boxes during the recent burn ban and as a result, the boxes were blown and strewn about. Meeks said that while he realized that normal policy from Scott Waste is to only empty what's inside a can, he noted other examples where the company had picked up larger excesses outside of can than the few boxes this particular customer had.
Meeks said another customer in his district recently had their can removed by the company for non-payment, and the company charged a $45 fee to return their can. He said the customer's response was that he neither received a bill, nor was contacted by Scott Waste about a late or non-payment.
Judge Cannon said he had received numerous complaints from residents claiming the trash company failed to pick up certain items outside the can. While he, too, recognized the policy of items being required by Scott Waste to be placed inside the can, he also noted that common sense should determine that a loose box on the ground would be easier to remove than items crammed down inside the trash can that might not come out when the can is dumped.
He also said he'd received complaints and had also seen firsthand, of trash being scattered from a Scott Waste truck in the Pig Community.
Sheriff Shane Doyle said the problem that he experiences most is inconsistency. He said times and even days of pickup have been scattered for weeks for the people in his community, yet the company offers no apology, notice, or bill credit for the inconveniences.
Mr. Bowman apologized for all the issues and said most problems stemmed from different drivers and broken-down trucks. He first addressed items outside of a customer's can.
"If it's once in a while, and the customer has a couple boxes or something, then yes, they're gonna pick it up and take it," he said. "If it's a continual thing with a customer, we offer a second cart at a reduced rate so they can fit it inside of a cart, but if it's every now-and-again, where there's a bag, a couple boxes, then we've asked the drivers to pick those up."
Bowman also said with the driver changes, they've discovered some in the county that are receiving service but not paying, and others that have multiple cans but only paying for one.
"So there was a lot of things that he was trying to fix just to make routes accurate, and through that, I think we've gotten some complaints. Hopefully that's now lessening," he said.
Cannon said overall, he felt like the service from Scott Waste was good and that the company donates to Parks and Rec each year and allows for the countywide cleanup, where they provide dumpsters for customers at no additional charge and that he wanted to keep a good relationship with the company. However, some have argued that those services could be figured into customers' bills already, and that customers are paying for those services anyway.
Mr. Bowman left his business card for all magistrates and welcomed direct calls from anyone that had any potential issues so that he could deal with them directly.
In addition, county offices gave their periodic reports.
Road Report: County Road Foreman Greg Carroll said crews had installed several road tiles on Dalton Way, Stone Hill, Trail Wood, and Union Light Ch Rd. He said snowplows are now ready on county trucks; however, one truck would not be in service this winter due to being what was discussed as "a lemon." He also said crews had completed gravel work on multiple roads.
Sheriff Report: Sheriff Shane Doyle said that tax bills were being sent out today and that his office would be collecting and processing those bills over the next two months.
Jailer Report: Deputy Jailer Todd Vincent reported 23 county inmates at Hart County Jail with four on work release, and one in Butler County Jail. He said the jailer's office is currently waiting on a bid for new jailer vehicle.
County Clerk: County Clerk Kevin Alexander reminded everyone that Tuesday. November 5th is election day and that his office had already processed several absentee and early votes. He also announced that the clerk's office will not be open on election day, that they will be handling election matters only.
Parks and Rec: Parks Director A.B. Webb announced that youth soccer had ended for the season, which was the largest season yet and that youth basketball is beginning. He reminded the court of the Halloween on Square event scheduled for Thurs night on the courthouse square. The event will be moved inside the community center in case of inclement weather. He also announced the upcoming bluegrass concert sponsored by Parks and Rec this Saturday.
National Opioid Litigation:
The county also voted to a retainer fee agreement for a National Opioid Litigation, as recommended by the county attorney. A paralegal from the law office of Gary Logsdon said it was estimated that Edmonson County would be paid approximately $42K in a settlement (subject to change) and that the county could vote to retain services in the case where multiple plaintiffs and multiple defendants were combined, in addition to law firms in various regions teaming up to represent the plaintiffs.
It was estimated that approximately 10% of any settlement would be paid as attorney fees and that the county would not owe anything up front. The court voted to have the law firm on a retainer for this litigation. Judge Cannon suggested any settlement gained by the county be turned over to the Sheriff's drug fund to assist in the local fight against drugs.
Judge Cannon invited everyone to the Community Center this Friday, November 1st at 2:45pm for an announcement regarding a grant that the county is set to receive from the state. No details were available as to what type of funding will be allocated to the county, but the Commissioner of the Department of Local Government and State Representative Michael Meredith are scheduled to speak at the announcement.
The next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 9am. The day was moved due to Veterans Day.