Shelbyville Public Hearing On Trash Services Gets Heated - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Shelbyville Public Hearing On Trash Services Gets Heated

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by Heather Graf

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. - Taxpayers in Shelbyville are fired up over a proposal to eliminate the city's door-to-door trash pick-up.  On Thursday night, they got their chance to sound off to council members considering the idea.

"What happened? How did we get here?" said Shelbyville resident James Sanders.

He was one of several dozen people who spoke at a public hearing on the issue.  One after another, they asked council members tough questions and made some strongly-worded suggestions.

"I think it comes down to managing the city's money better," said resident Debbie Corvene.

Council members admitted it is all about money.  The city's financial coffers are almost empty, and cutting garbage collection services could save them almost half a million dollars.

"It's not that we're broke, but we are already working on next year's budget.  And the money isn't going to be sufficient to take care of next year's budget, based on the money we have coming in," said Mayor Wallace Cartwright.

Taxpayers said the decision to eliminate garbage collection services would turn the entire city into a landfill.  They also expressed concern about the city's elderly population, and how they would manage to take out and dispose of their trash on their own.

"We can't please everybody, but we try to get public input so we can go back and look at what has been done and what can be done," said Cartwright.

Several people said they're not necessarily in favor of a huge tax increase, but if it means keeping their garbage collection services, it's the lesser of two evils.

Cartwright tells News Channel 5 the city hasn't had a property tax increase since the early 1990's.

He said that's one of two options city leaders have, if they want to avoid eliminating trash pick-up.  The other option involves charging taxpayers $11 per month for the service.

The proposal to cut trash services has already passed its first reading, and the second reading is set for March 10.

The mayor said council will hold a worksession to discuss their options before the final decision is made.

Email: hgraf@newschannel5.com

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