Bill Frey, governmental affairs officer for the company, said he rode through town with Councilman Chuck Autin on Monday. Autin pointed out problems such as broken sidewalks, historic brick curbs, stench, overturned cans and more.
Frey said cans were “scattered all over the place” and promised to address that. He also said the company will make sure drivers observe the speed limits; avoid trash blowing out of the trucks with inspections from top to bottom before leaving the route; address times of service in key areas such as Main Street and the rest of the community; try to avoid odors, eyesores, traffic problems, trash trucks dumping cans while customers are “trying to enjoy lunch at their favorite restaurant” and keeping the trucks clean and deodorized.
“It was an eye-opener when I came up yesterday, and I felt extremely bad,” Frey said. He said he discussed it with managers, who have been told to “do whatever it takes to fix the problem, and we make this commitment to you now.”
Councilman Joe Garrison said SweeDee’s actual site in Franklin also generates a lot of odor, and foul water runoff from cleaning the trucks.
Councilman Dale Rogers said leaking trucks recently “left puddles all over Pecan Acres and it smelled. There was one in front of Polito’s this morning where they were spreading cat litter or something down because that one was leaking all over the place.”
Mayor Raymond Harris added Samuel and Joseph streets to the list of areas with similar problems.
Frey said SweeDee is in the process of replacing its fleet of trucks, which are starting to show their age.
Also Tuesday, the council learned that proposals for rebuilding of the drainage pumps at Ibert Street came in far in excess of estimates.
Bill Allain of Allain and Associates Engineers, said proposals came in at the $120,000 range, when original estimates were in the $30,000 range.
The pump starters and controls are to be replaced, Allain said.
Harris was indignant that the cost was so far from estimates.
“How does a project jump from $30,000 to $120,000?” he asked.
“My original estimate was way off,” Allain admitted. “I’m an engineer not a contractor, and I’m shocked to find out that these motor starters cost $25,000 a piece.”
In light of the costs, the council agreed to authorize advertising for bids for the work, rather than proposals, since the projected cost exceeds the $100,000 limit under state bid law.
Also Tuesday, Joel Miller of Miller Engineers & Associates, said rights of way request letters are being sent to landowners around the Yokely Canal in advance of a widening and deepening project. Any landowner with questions may contact Miller’s firm at 828-1950, he said.