Northampton trash pick-up to change

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2007

JACKSON – The citizens of Northampton County may have to trudge their trash cans to the curb one or even a few days earlier than what they’re accustomed.

At Monday’s Northampton County Commissioners’ meeting Mark Myers with Waste Industries presented a new trash pickup schedule for the county.

Myers explained the reason for the change in the schedule is due to the vastness of the county and the demands on drivers when one truck breaks down.

“A truck would have to drive an hour just to relieve another,” he said.

For example, the current schedule shows trash is being picked up on Mondays on opposite sides of the county, the western panhandle and the southern tip.

The new schedule would consolidate the trucks in the same area on the same day so assistance in wake of a broken down truck could be provided in a shorter time.

Myers said more than 7,000 of the county’s citizens would be affected by the new schedule, about 70 percent of households.

The target date for the scheduling to go into effect is April 9.

Myers said prior to the date the company will be sending out flyers and postcards to the affected customers warning them of the change and a contact number for questions about the new pickup schedule.

He added if a household is not affected no flyer will be sent.

Myers said for the first three weeks after the scheduling change there may be some confusion.

“But after that we expect this thing will be running smoothly without any hiccups,” he said.

In other business, County Manager Wayne Jenkins was honored by Kim Kilday of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) for being one of the top five county managers who participated in the County Health Plan’s 10,000 Steps a Day wellness initiative over a 32 day period.

“We’re really proud of Mr. Jenkins for participating,” said Kilday.

The 10,000 Steps a Day encourages county employees walk 10,000 steps a day to be healthier and cut health insurance costs.

Jenkins was not the only county employee to be a part of the initiative.

Kilday reported that 108 county employees participated in the program and all together burned 189,000 calories by taking 3.7 million steps, equaling out to 1,746 miles.

“This tells us that they’re (county employees) conscience of wellness and health,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Virginia Spruill (D-2nd).

The commissioners tabled a decision on a well permit increase for the county and approved a well rule grant.

Northampton County Health Director Sue Gay approached the board seeking approval of a well rule grant, which is in conjunction with the state’s new Well Protection Law.

In order for the county to receive a possible $40,000 grant, the fee for the well permits would need to rise from $40 to $150.

“Forty dollars to $150 is quite a steep increase,” said Spruill.

Gay explained the hike in the fee would be in response to the increase of manpower, trips to the drilling site and time spent at the site.

She added that last year only 10 wells were drilled in the county and that 87 percent of citizens were on the county system.

“So we’re talking about a small amount of people,” Gay said.

The board tabled the decision on the increase, agreeing that they would like to see more research done on well permit fees in surrounding counties.