Durbin Council talks trash

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

At the regular Durbin Town Council meeting June 15, councilmembers discussed con- cerns about trash collection in town.

Council received a bill from the Pocahontas County landfill in the amount of $480.15 for a non-scheduled drop off. Councilmember Mike Vance explained that there were several bags of trash at a trailer park which were ripped into by cats, creating a large mess.

The town was issued a fine from DNR officer Matthew Barkley who asked town worker Doug Currence why the trash was not picked up in a timely fashion.

Mayor Danielle Findley said Currence had expressed concerns about the trash in that area and said he would not handle the trash anymore.

“I think the town worker had expressed that there are hazards over there, like when he goes to pick up a bag of trash and there’s a needle sticking out of the side,” Findley said. “He doesn’t feel like he should have to handle that trash. We need to clear that up and figure out what the protocol needs to be.”

Trailer park property owner Buster Varner said he bought several trash bins for the residents to use. The bins can be dumped by the trash truck, so Currence will no longer have to handle the trash himself.

Concerning the hazardous material issue, councilmember Mark Smith said council should provide information to citizens on how to properly dispose of sharps or needles.

“There should also be something done from the town council to the citizens that if they do have diabetes or something of that nature, to tell them how to dispose of their needles in a proper manner,” he said. “I know [my wife] Thelma puts hers in a coffee can and puts a lid on it. Whether its a milk jug or pop bottles – there are ways to properly dispose of things like that that citizens should be aware of.”

Council also discussed concerns with how the trash in Main Street trash cans is picked up. An incident occurred recently where a fish had been placed in the trash which was not picked up in a timely fashion, causing an unpleasant odor to emanate from the trash can.

Councilmember Shelia Varner said she was informed by Currence that he would no longer pick up smelly trash and said he was told by council that he did not have to pick up odorous trash.

“Town employees are not the boss,” Findley responded.

Findley said council will have a special meeting with the town employee to discuss the issues further.

In updates:

• Council discussed past due federal taxes. The current bill is estimated at $21,694.16. When treasurer Donald Peck took the position in early spring, he and Rick Barkley noticed the town finances were in disarray. They discovered that the town had not paid federal employee taxes in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Although the taxes were withheld from employee pay checks, the taxes were not sent to the federal government. At this time, council is unable to pay the past due total. Council asked Peck to contact the IRS to set up a payment plan.

• Council approved to pay Jason Bauserman $1,000 for work on the town office. Bauserman was also given $1,000 from the jail improvement grant to continue his work on the historic building.

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