Franklinton Council hears from trash company about service problems

By JOHNNIE DANIEL,

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen held their regularly scheduled meeting last Tuesday in the Chambers of Franklinton Town Hall.

The Town's CPA, Minda B. Raybourn, presented the 2019 audit report. Income sources for all departments totaled $8,130,564 with expenditures of $6,554,120 for a change in net position of $1,576,444.

Of the net position, the Town received the following grant amounts: $844,624 from USDA towards the sewer improvement project, $74,942 from the USDA towards the purchase of police vehicles, $38,971 from the Department of Transportation for the Safe and Sober Campaign, and $169,774 in FEMA funding for Hurricane Katrina-related expenses. The final net position for the 2019 audit was $448,133.
The auditor noted that no findings were found in the 2019 audit.

Office manager Lauren Anthony of AmWaste addressed the Board about recent problems with the garbage pickup schedule. Anthony noted that there have been numerous problems that contributed to the late pickup issues. She stated that local landfills had been closed for holidays which meant there was nowhere to dump the garbage. Several employees had been exposed to COVID-19 including the person in charge of maintenance of the trucks. According to Anthony, the trucks are used extremely hard and require regular maintenance which the company had been without.

She also said the company has experienced problems with some employees not showing up for work. Anthony said she hoped to have all of these problems solved very soon in order for the company to provide the service that Franklinton has been used to receiving.

Alderman John Daniel asked Anthony if the company could call Town Hall and let personnel know if there were problems that would cause delays. This would allow Town Hall to accurately answer questions they are receiving. Anthony agreed to do this and also stated that the company has just created a Facebook page to assist in notifying customers of any delays. She noted that there are three people answering telephone lines and AmWaste receives between 800-900 calls a day from customers.

Superintendent Reginald McMasters gave a report from the Public Works Department. After providing the stats for the month, the superintendent noted that he had several employees test positive for COVID-19. With the positive tests, other employees had to quarantine until test results came back. McMasters stated that it has been difficult working without a full crew and the department is working on the most important issues while other jobs like picking up limbs will have to wait until the full crew is back in place.

Franklinton resident Cimmaron Magee addressed the Board about inconsistencies in her water bill. Ms. Magee had an envelope filled with water meter readings that she had recorded. She stated that when she called Town Hall, see "got a lot of red tape" and no answers. "I don't complain very often," said Ms. Magee, "but I have a problem with why someone won't let me know why my bill keeps fluctuating like it is. It's $200 one month, $100 one month, $70 one month. A lot of people like me are on a fixed income and we need to know what the water bill is." Ms. Magee stated that if she is getting inconsistencies in her bill, others are getting this also.
Alderman TJ Butler asked Ms. Magee if she thought she had a broken water meter. She noted that she just got a new meter earlier, so that shouldn't be the problem.

Mayor Richard Dillon said Superintendent McMasters and Town Clerk Ellen Waskom would set up a time to meet with her and try and find out why the discrepancies are occurring.
The Board of Aldermen meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM in the Chambers of Franklinton Town Hall.

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