Jackson Garbage Ordiance Could Be Put On Ballot

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JACKSON (WILX)-- Jackson residents may get the final say on who picks up their trash in a vote this August.

As we've reported, the city council voted to reduce the number of companies collecting garbage in the city.

Jackson City Council is going ahead with the bidding process and is willing to split the contract between as many as three companies. The problem is smaller companies feel they're being squeezed out, and they're worried about prices rising because of a lack of competition.
Emmons Service has been picking up trash in Jackson for almost one hundred years, and this ordinance could put an end that.

"We must not have been doing too many things wrong to be in business that long. This is another way the government is telling taxpayers what they are going to do," said David Emmons, President of Emmons Services.

If Emmons loses the bid he wont be out of business, but he thinks some others might.

"Now the little smaller people with pick ups that put bread on the table, they're out," said Emmons.

"We're going to have a competitive bidding process. We will allow for local companies to bid together. Up to three local companies are going to be able to service the same contract," said City Council Member Derek Dobies.

But enough residents hate the idea, and got a petition with enough signatures to put it to a vote.

"I have no doubt it will go to ballot, probably in the August election," said City Council Member Laura Schlecte.

Schlecte still thinks people will pay less with this new ordinance because no bids will be accepted that raise the current price.

"If this doesn't decrease the average garbage bill. Right now my daughter pays 61 dollars a quarter. If it doesn't decrease it significantly we won't continue," said Schlecte.

The other wrinkle says Emmons is if a national company wins the bid, after five years prices could go way up.

"They have a lot more money because they are nation wide. They can come in no problem and take over. Then they run the contract out, and it gives the conglomerates control of the prices," said Emmons.

In the last five years, Jackson residents have paid more than $380,000 for crews to remove litter from around the city.

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