COVINGTON, Ga. – Late in Tuesday night’s marathon Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting, two members suggested the county’s Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) revisit the Convenience Center policy to determine if the centers left open work best for the county while another two expressed concerns about how the public has been informed about the changes.
“We really need to take a look at the centers that we have determined are going to remain open and determine if those are the still the ones we want to keep open, or if we need to alter some of them,” said District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz.
She cited the center on Stone Road, which she said is difficult to get into and out of.
“I think we’re still in an evaluation phase,” she said, “I’m not saying we are going to open more centers, we’re going to keep the same number. We just need to look at if we made the correct decision on the proper location of the centers. I think that’s still a work in progress.”
District 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan asked the SWMA to look at its policy on the centers.
“I would just ask my colleagues that are on the Solid Waste Authority to revisit that policy on those,” he said, “I had several calls from people who live nearby those convenience centers and the volume of traffic since we closed some of the centers has doubled around these people’s homes. More people are going to fewer centers.
“As a result, we’ve got some trucks that are uncovered and in these particular areas, there was a lot more trash going up and down the road.”
District 1 Commissioner Stan Edwards said he has heard citizen complaints about communication about which centers were closed and which were left open.
“I’ve gotten numerous complaints from the convenience center issues about our communication about what was left open and what was closed,” he said, “Not just from one particular person, but from several from my district over the last couple of months.
“I think our communication has to start at those convenience centers when we do something that impacts those centers,” he said, “Our communication has to start there and work out.”
District 2 Commissioner Lanier Sims echoed Edward’s concerns.
“We need to get some type of explanation on why signs weren’t put up. It just seems that nothing was planned,” he said, “We need an explanation so we can have answers for our citizens.
“People are running around trying to figure out which center to go to. We’ve got to do a better job.”
Schulz, Sims and BOC Chairman Marcello Banes are members of the SWMA. The next SWMA meeting is Thursday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the Historic Courthouse.