LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County residents are one step closer to seeing automated trash pickup in their county.
During Monday's meeting, supervisors voted 3-2, with Steve Lampton and Dale Lucus opposing, the approval of accepting a bid from Cascade Engineering for 96-gallon Curbside trashcans.
That bid came was received on March, 23, and was for $668,500, which is $45.90 a can.
"I just felt like that we've got a good system, I feel like $668,000 is a lot of money to spend on cans," Lucus said.
The county announced its plans to move forward with the multi-phase project back in January, and the purchasing of the cans would be phase one, followed by a pair of side-arm loading trucks.
"Having my own equipment and working my own equipment, when you go to that much hydraulics, a side-booms, you have a lot of breakdowns," Lucus said. "I've talked to companies and they told me that was a concern that they do have a lot of breakdowns."
District 4 supervisor Phillip Carlisle told the board that the matter is very important to him.
"My primary reason for my overwhelming support is a safety aspect of the operation," Carlisle said. "It's no secret we've have a few close calls in the county when it comes to sanitation workers."
Carlisle said it will also help beautify the county, especially in the heavy populated neighborhoods.
"This will also do away with what I call the homemade bins that sit by the road, it will also do away with bags outside of a can," Carlisle said.
During the meeting, Carlisle and Lucus went back and forth with their discussion of the matter.
"This would be something that I can't vote for, and I'm going to vote against," Lucus said.
Carlisle said, "Sanitation is taken up with millage, so you have the money banked that can only be spent on sanitation. We did approve the purchase of the cans, the number and the implementation is now into question."
After the first purchase of the cans, the county is set to move forward with purchasing two new trucks for roughly $50,000 each.
"Trucks that we would be buying are an additional, $50,000, and we're running seven trucks, so we're looking at a million dollars that I think that we could be better spending somewhere else in the county than trying to change what we're doing on our sanitation routes," Lucus said.
Lamar County Administrator Jody Waits said, "We've not purchased the trucks, the intent would be to buy two trucks, identify two routes then roll them out to a couple of routes to see how it works."
Waits said there is no set number of cans that will be purchased now, but the bid price will be good for 18 months.
Carlisle added that if the 96-gallon can, which the first one will be provided to residents, is too large there are smaller options.
"I personally thing a county-wide system would work, whether it be rural or whether it be residential, because we in Lamar County work with our citizens," Carlisle said. "It's a big change, so anytime you have a big change, there's going to be some hiccups, but nothing that we can't overcome."