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Trash talk dominates Ward council

Assurances that problems with the city’s trash service are being corrected dominated the Jan. 13 meeting of the Ward City Council. A spokesman for C and S Services told aldermen that while immediate measures are being taken, enduring corrections would likely not come until the probate process is complete.

Mayor Art Brooke and aldermen Bill Moon, Lee Schoonover, Jeff Shaver, Gary Matheny, Charles Gastineau and Don Howard attended the meeting.

Brooke posed that trash service in the city is supposed to be provided, there have been numerous instances when that has not been met. “This has made their performance unsatisfactory,” he said.

“What we are looking for tonight is a solution … we are looking for direction,” Brook remarked.

Glenn Charlesworth, of CFO Advisory Services, assured council members that actions are being taken to ensure the obligations of C and S Services are met, meets its contract obligations for trash pickup in the city. However, there remains the likelihood of future changes when the business is sold.

In later remarks, Brooke said the problem was such that there had been initial consideration of the city assuming the trash collections. “We didn’t want to do that. But we were thinking about it. We came into tonight not knowing what the outcome was going to be,” he said.

“We want to to know where we are at with our contract,” Brooke remarked.

Carl Perry, owner of C and S, died in May 2013 without someone to continue in the business. “[Perry] knew he was pretty sick, [the business] was kind of a one-man show, he did not have a partner. So he made provisions with the Bank of the Ozarks trust division … to manage his affairs,” Charlesworth said.

Charlesworth said that he had been appointed by the Bank of the Ozarks, which holds the business in a trust, to oversee the business operation. His own business is a consulting agency, he said.

While he and the bank are working to keep the company viable, it is not the same as having a person knowledgeable in the service running it, Charlesworth said. “We are somewhat limited in what we can do,” he remarked.

There are actions they have not taken simply because neither he nor the bank have proprietary interest, Charlesworth said.

Brooke said that although the trash service was provided, it was delayed to unexpected times. “What we want … is our trash picked up on Thursday and Friday,” he said.

While it is understood that there will be emergencies, the current failure rate is not acceptable, Brooke said.

Charlesworth said he has obtained an agreement with another company that will step in should there be another delay due to a mechanical breakdown, as his fleet and schedule will allow.

The best solution will come when the business is sold, Charlesworth said. “There has been quite an interest by other sanitation companies …with respect to taking over [C and S]” he said.

The trust holder has come to the point of announcing the company is open for sale, Charlesworth said.

Right now, the best interest of C and S is to maintain its customer base. In reality, it is the customers, and not the equipment, that another company in interested in, Charlesworth said. “The customer is king,” he remarked.

With the assurances that service will be ensured, the council took no action on the matter.

In other issues, Brooke queried the council members of the status of the ordinance considerations, and whether he should continue gathering information about other cities’ ordinances.

Howard said his recollection is that the decision from the last parking committee meeting was a parking ordinance is not needed.

Gastineau made the motion to table the considerations. “If we need to revisit it sometime in the future, we can,” he remarked.

With the motion seconded, the vote was to table the matter until such time that conditions call for it to be considered.

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