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City board approves sanitation contract
Brunswick will outsource sanitation services and save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in the process.

At its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, the City Commission voted 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem James Brooks casting the only no-vote, to approve the contract with Waste Management for solid waste and recycling services.

Voting for it were Mayor Bryan Thompson and Commissioners Cornell Harvey, Johnny Cason and Julie Hunter.

City manager Bill Weeks said paying someone else to pick up solid waste will prove to be beneficial to the city. The city now spends about $1.25 million on sanitation services and will save about $500,000 by contracting Waste Management.

"It's been a moving target, and we've had many discussions about things," Weeks said.

"As far as equipment... it will not transfer between the two parties, and we will put it on the surplus list for disposal."

Weeks said he is confident Waste Management will be able to keep up with demand, which has been a problem for the city in recent years.

Waste Management's contract includes weekly curbside collection, city dumpster collection and weekly yard debris, as well as bi-monthly recycling for residents.

Of concern to Brooks are the 14 sanitation employees who are cut from the city's budget.

Weeks tried to allay his fears.

"Obviously part of the savings is from the loss of head count, but they will get an opportunity to sign on with Waste Management," Weeks said.

He said the savings can be used elsewhere in the budget.

"Part of my idea is taking the savings and reinvesting in other areas, possibly increasing staffing in other areas to bolster city services," he said, noting he will discuss those and other ideas with the commission soon.

Weeks said the contract with Waste Management will start in about 90 days or around the beginning of December.

The commission also addressed a proposal to ban sagging pants, with Brooks suggesting city attorney Nathan Williams look into the ordinances of other Georgia cities and return to the commission with a draft.

Changes to Brunswick's indecent exposure ordinance will merely include a clause outlawing the sagging of pants or skirts 3 inches below the waist so that skin or undergarments are exposed.

The phrase is found in ordinances of Georgia cities like Albany, Baxley and Dublin.

"These are loosely enforced because they are hard to enforce," Williams said.

The commission will vote on the changes at its next meeting, which will be in September.

In other business the commission:

* Approved the 2012 millage rate, which does not reflect a tax increase

* Placed Russell's Lounge, where a homicide occurred July 27, on probation for 90 days

* Honored the Brunswick Fire Department by recognizing Fire Fighter Appreciation Week

* Approved contracts for two crews from the Bacon County Probation Detention Center for supplementing public works.

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