CORNELIA - The Cornelia City Commission voted Tuesday night to continue providing sanitation services for city residents.
Following concerns by residents over a proposed $3-per-month rate increase, the city advertised for bids for the possible privatization of household garbage collection in the city, including providing rolling carts to 300 customers who currently don't have one.
City Manager Donald Anderson said the city received six bids, ranging from $8.50 per month per residence to $13 per month per residence.
Waste Pro, Inc., of Doraville submitted the low bid.
Anderson said the contract would be for a five-year period, beginning Aug. 1 and renewing automatically with provisions for annual cost increases due to fuel costs, landfill fees, and cost of living.
He noted that if the service was not privatized, the city would have to increase its monthly charge from $15 to $18.
Anderson also reported that even if the service was privatized, the city would not be reducing the rate charged. The $6.50 difference pays the expense of yard waste collection, which the city provides.
Both Ward 4 Commissioner Tony Cook and Mayor J.C. Irby said they received calls and comments praising the services currently provided by the city.
"I think the city as a whole would be more satisfied if we raised the rate and keep the service the same," Cook said.
Cook made the motion to maintain city sanitation services, raising rates to $18 per month. Ward 1 Commissioner Wes Dodd seconded the motion. In addition to their votes, Ward 2 Commissioner Janice Griggs voted in favor. Ward 3 Commissioner Don Bagwell was absent.