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Town taking on trash pickup will pay off in the long term
7/10/2014 3:20:17 PM
Last Updated:
7/10/2014 3:43:38 PM

A new church will be moving into the Princeton community soon, as New Birth Holiness Church, currently located in Pine Level, is in the process of relocating to 409 Dr. Donnie Jones Blvd. in Princeton, into a building that has hosted restaurants in recent years. In the photo, Jamal Perry is shown putting a fresh coat of paint on the outside of what will soon be Princeton's newest church. (NL photo by Michael Jaenicke)
By Barry Merrill
NL Publisher
How can the Town of Princeton afford to buy a quarter-million dollar garbage truck that they use just one day a week? Princeton's Public Works Director is convinced they can do it, and he has convinced the town administrator and town board he will do it. And best of all, it will save the billpayers/taxpayers.
The town began garbage pickup last week, and according to Public Works Director Adam Stuckey, it went well, as he reported to the Town Board at their regular monthly meeting Monday.
There have been a couple of hiccups. The new garbage truck the town ordered is late coming in. Mr. Stuckey expects delivery before the end of the month. They have been using Pine Level's truck in the interim. Also, they were about 25 garbage cans short of giving everyone a new town garbage can. The extra cans are expected in this week.
Monday will be the first day the town takes over recycling. As in the past, recycling will be picked up every two weeks, just shifted to Mondays.
Town Administrator Marla Ashworth said the town citizens are already benefitting from the changeover, as Waste Management would have imposed a 50¢ per month increase per customer.
While Mr. Stuckey picks up an extra full-time employee in his department with the take-over of additional responsibilities, he says the biggest advantage is the flexibility to deal with problems rather than just passing them on to the taxpayers. That's where Mrs. Ashworth sees the big benefits to the town.
While Waste Management and other solid waste contractors have provided a significant cost savings to towns for many years, recent increases in the cost of fuel have wiped out some of the savings the companies provided through efficiencies. Present low interest rates make buying a truck more reasonable for towns to consider.
Mr. Stuckey also benefitted from his father's experience, as public works director in neighboring Pine Level. They have been providing trash pickup for years.
"We're buying the same truck Pine Level has been operating, and they just replaced the engine in the truck after 15 years. It could be good for another 15 years, as good a truck as it is."
He also said his staff sees adding trash pickup duties as a positive thing. "We start at 6 a.m. and work straight through, getting through around 2 p.m., and they get off early and have in their time for the day."
Mrs. Ashworth showed that with the low interest rates, they are able to finance the truck, garbage cans and recycling containers, a total of just over $271,000 for 15 years, and pay it off with an annual payment of $22,130.
While Princeton residents are already saving the 50¢ per month that Waste Management would be charging the town for service in the new fiscal year, the bigger savings is on the tax rate, as the hope is the town can add $30,000 to the town's surplus, as encouraged by the League of Municipalities, without increasing any taxes or fees.

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