The maiden voyage of Allied Waste's garbage truck through Lewisburg has crossed some uncertain waters and while there's no iceberg on the horizon, the private trash hauler wants to steer clear of obstacles.
And so two captains of the service based at Middle Point Sanitary Landfill north of Murfreesboro are charting a course to Lewisburg City Hall on Tuesday evening to speak with the city councilmen and answer questions from elected leaders and the public.
Council convenes at 6 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of City Hall on July 13.
City employees answering incoming phone calls "have been covered up," Councilman Ronald McRady said Wednesday. "I've been getting calls from the elderly and people with health problems" about trash cart placement and related issues.
City Manager Eddie Fuller substantiated McRady's point
"There are some ... little things like extra cans and the day of the week for service," Fuller said.
City sanitation crews collected trash Tuesdays and Wednesdays with two or three trucks, depending on need.
Since July 5, Allied Waste has used one truck with pneumatic arms to collect trash five days a week.
Transfer of the service to a private hauler with a mechanical lift instead of men's muscles resulted a reduction in city employees.
"We've had to cut three jobs directly because of this," Fuller said of the system approved by the City Council.
"Two of the guys were over 70 years old and had talked about retirement," he said.
"There was a low man on the totem pole who did get cut, but we told him he would be the first called back," Fuller continued. "He told Kenny (Ring, street and sanitation manager,) that he found another job.
"Mike Pigg retired," Fuller said. "We didn't replace him because maintenance of the trucks should be less."
City trucks are used to collect recyclables.
One of the men who left the department is Donald "Jelly" Cole, 70, of Lewisburg. He worked for the city 40 years, mainly riding the back of a collection truck.
"Aside from Kirby Murphy," Cole said Wednesday in the lobby of City Hall, "Kenny Ring is the best boss I've ever worked for."
Cole said he's done "most anything Kenny asked" at the shop.
Meanwhile, the council will also resume discussion on the city utility's planned water rate hike.
McRady made the motion to start discussion on the utility's recommendation, but Wednesday he said he's not sure he will vote for it.
Water Superintendent Kenneth Carr has explained the utility needs money for expansion required by federal regulations. He's to answer more questions about it Tuesday.
See previous stories at marshalltribune.com and search for "Utility rate hike anticipated here," and "City to borrow $5M for utilities."
A city video of Carr's presentation to the council is on the Internet at lewisburg.com. Click on City Council at the top of the page. Go to the bottom of the page and click on "View last month's City Council meeting."