The city of Russellville approved a resolution Tuesday to enter into a interlocal agreement with the county and its cities for consolidated waste pickup services. The city of Adairville approved the resolution last week and the city of Auburn is expected to at its next meeting.
This means the initiative to have everyone on board with a unified waste contract has moved forward one more step. The interlocal agreement will have to be approved by the state once the cities of Auburn, Adairville, Lewisburg and Russellville, along with the county, have all agreed.
The plan to come together under one contract began soon after the county started a pilot program last year with Scott Waste to offer curbside co-mingling recycling for just under 400 residents. The program has been very successful prompting Magistrate Thomas Bouldin to push for the recycling to be offered to everyone at no additional cost. The only thing that would have to be done to keep the costs low for trash pickup and offer the recycling, is to unify as one.
Scott Waste Services, who currently has a contract with the county, Adairville, Auburn and Lewisburg and also has one with the City of Russellville, has agreed to offer the curbside recycling to everyone if they had an opportunity to bid out a future contract with all of them together.
A committee will be complied of all four mayors, along with the Judge Executive who will sit down and go over what needs to be in the agreeement to benefit everyone. The mayors will be representing their cities and the judge the county.
Russellville City Attorney Neil Kerr read the resolution, that passed the Russellville City Council unanimously, during Tuesday’s city council meeting. Councilman Jack Whipple was curious how it would all work. He was concerned about who would make the decisions for each city.
“Russellville, Auburn, Adairville and Lewisburg and the county all have different numbers of pickups. It wouldn’t be fair for Auburn or Lewisburg to have the same amount of votes,” said Whipple.
Kerr explained to Whipple that it didn’t come down to votes on how the agreement would be formed. “I think what we envision more would be the mayors of each city making requests on behalf of each city as to what they want to include in the bid process,” said Kerr.
Whipple asked about what would happen if they got together and wanted to do something like raise the rates. Kerr said that wouldn’t be allowed to happen.
“To change an agreement it would have to be unanimous. If it wasn’t something that would work for Russellville, the mayor would not cast his vote in favor of the change. The mayor goes on behalf of us and makes sure we get the minimum of what we already have and we use that as a starting point to say here’s what we want and I think the county will take that from each city and then put that into a giant bid,” said Kerr, who said the city could withdrawal from the agreement if they were not satisfied. “We haven’t given over all our authority to the county to negotiate.” Kerr ended.