Allied Waste answers concerns

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

County residents who have had complaints about the service of Allied Waste may soon see a solution to household garbage pickup problems.
Seren Hainsworth with Allied Waste assured commissioners Monday that a full staff is in place and training has begun.
“We have hired a new driver and our routes are fully staffed,” Hainsworth said. “There will be a training period so that the driver can become familiar with the routes. With new employees there is always that period of training that must be completed.”
Commissioners Brandon Smith and Larry White voiced their concerns over continued complaints with the service provided by the company.
“I have had residents tell me they have called the toll-free number and been told that their garbage wasn’t picked up because the drivers can’t get down the road,” Smith said. “We need to know about that kind of problem so it can be fixed.”
White told Hainsworth Mobile employees explanation of problems is not excusable.
“A woman in Mobile telling customers that the roads are not passable is not an excuse for lack of service,” White said. “The problems began three months ago. We didn’t have any problems before then. The excuses have multiplied since service has become more unreliable. The complaints we’re hearing are things that Allied Waste has been doing for 20 years. Now, they say they can no longer go down those same roads.”
Hainsworth said some of the issues at the heart of the complaints include problems on private roads.
“We try not to go down a private road,” Hainsworth said. “If it’s not safe, then we have to keep that in mind. Safety is our top priority for our drivers and the citizens.”
Hainsworth said he would be in contact with the managers and address the issues and concerns of the commission and the citizens.
“I will get with the new manager and drive down those roads to see what issues there are,” Hainsworth said. “It’s a work in progress” White told Hainsworth that issues with road problems need to be brought to the attention of the commission and County Engineer Bill Bridges so they can be addressed.
“If we have a road that’s hindering service, we need to know about it,” White said. “When service is lacking we need to address the problem. Things had gotten better until last week when it fell apart again. Why change how it’s been done for 20 years? The rules have changed.”
Bridges told Hainsworth that issues concerning road passage should be directed back to the county to be addressed.
“We need to know about any road problems before someone else calls us and tells us they’ve been told it’s our fault,” Bridges said. “We can’t address a problem if we don’t know it exists.”
County commissioners also reinvested $1.1 million in certificates of deposit during Monday’s meeting.
Christy Black with BancTrust recommended investing the funds in a 12-month CD with Escambia County Bank in Flomaton. She said rates are currently low and improvement in the rates is expected over the course of the next several months. By investing in the 12-month CD, commissioners will be faced with two CDs maturing in February 2012. Annual rates for current investments for the Escambia County Oil and Gas Trust Fund ranked from a low of .15 percent at Bank of Brewton to .83 percent at Escambia County Bank in Flomaton. Other banks submitted bids for the reinvestment included BB&T in Brewton, BankTrust in Brewton and First Exchange Bank in Brewton.
In other business, the commission:
• Appointed Jamie Manning to serve on the Southwest Alabama Mental Health
• Reaffirmed a resolution in opposition to the Conecuh Woods Landfill
proposal passed in June 2007;
• Approved the annual levy on alcoholic beverages to remain at the maximum
• Adopted the ad valorem tax levy;
• Authorized the disposal of three ECATS buses.

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