South Congaree Mayor Danny Jones responds to citizen’s questions regarding garbage service
South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) – South Congaree Mayor Danny Jones issued a statement Friday in the form of an open letter to the citizens of the town regarding garbage service. He did so after rumors began to circulate regarding the current company that is handling these services, and changes that might be coming regarding who would be providing the services, what that would cost citizens, and why changes were coming if they were.
In an e-mail sent via Pat Shull, South Congaree’s municipal clerk, on behalf of the mayor, Jones said the following:
“Hello from the Mayor,
It is my pleasure to address questions that have been asked about our new household garbage pick-up. First, I would like a few words from my heart.
I have been mayor for about 2 ½ years. I would like to confess that I didn’t understand criticism as well as I thought but I have learned that criticism of the right nature will make a person better, wiser, and humble. I’ve learned that when you examine yourself against criticism no matter how much it hurts, it almost always has some sort of positive outcome. The best way to respond to criticism is to state the facts so that others are informed correctly.
I would like to now talk about the facts around the new Garbage Service replacing the existing service.
As Mayor, I am constantly taking complaints from our citizens about the poor garbage service. We have called Advanced (Advanced Disposal holds the current contract) and so have you to complain about our service. We have posted names and contact information for citizens to call directly to Advanced to express frustration. Advanced has been bombarded with complaints from our town. Shortly afterwards, we received an email from Advanced stating that they will not be renewing our contract at the same cost as before. When called and asked about the price increase, we were told that service cost has not increase in our town since 2011 (11.99 per month) and Advanced Disposal could not continue working for that rate.
As a council we asked the town clerk to put the service out for bid as required by law. Advanced did not bid on the service. When called about their decision, we were told, “It became an operational decision not to haul in the area making submitting a competitive bid unrealistic.” Advanced Disposal was ending the service (in the South Congaree area) as of April. We negotiated the service to be extended for a couple months so that we could look for a new company to service our town.
On the bid due date, we received one bid, Tyler Sanitation for $26.00 per month for the same service our citizens were now paying $11.99. We realized many citizens can pay this additional cost with no problem, but there are many other citizens who cannot pay the additional cost. We negotiated with Tyler’s Sanitation to provide the household trash only service for $16.00 for two years. We asked if they could set it up where our citizens could choose additional services, we were told no. We chose to make it the least expense for our citizens.
We are not the only town in our area that is having to negotiate new services and they are choosing the same plan that we have with the same Tyler’s Sanitation. We have been told that Lexington County will be ending yard trash and recycling pick-up in SOME RURAL AREAS of Lexington County next year. The service has gotten to be very expensive for the sanitation companies and the county has free drop off at many different locations.
Did we make the right decision? With all the information we have received, I feel like we have. If perhaps we did make a mistake it wasn’t because we did not put much effort into solving a crucial service for our town. I feel our citizens will agree that this is the best option after hearing the facts.
If you need additional information, please do not hesitate to call my personal cell number 803-600-5061 or call our office at 803-755-3047 x 101 for other council members contact information.
God Bless America and God Bless South Congaree.”
With that statement, Mayor Jones ended his open letter to the people.