KINGSPORT - It's only a week old, but Kingsport is already working to expand its automated garbage collection service.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Tuesday night for the creation of an interlocal agreement where Kingsport would provide automated garbage collection for the residents of Mount Carmel.
Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds said the agreement came about when Mount Carmel officials inquired into purchasing Kingsport's old garbage trucks. Kingsport has replaced its old garbage trucks with new automated ones and on Feb. 5 launched the first of two phases of its automated collection service.
However, due to the age of the city's trucks, McReynolds said selling them to Mount Carmel was not a good option.
"There comes a point in a truck's life where you spend more on maintenance than what the payment on the truck would be," McReynolds said.
Since that idea did not work out, Mount Carmel Mayor Gary Lawson said Mayor Dennis Phillips suggested Kingsport pick up the city's garbage if it could beat BFI's rate.
"When (Phillips) delivered the price, it was about $18,000 cheaper than what we were paying already," Lawson said.
Mount Carmel leaders now have to approve the agreement and let Kingsport know when it wants the Model City to begin picking up its garbage.
"We're looking at it right now. We haven't made a decision on it yet," Lawson said.
Mount Carmel's next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27, but Lawson said a special called meeting could be held to address the issue.
For the past 10 years, BFI has provided automated garbage collection to Mount Carmel's roughly 1,850 residents. The city pays BFI approximately $149,000 a year for the service.
In order for Mount Carmel to partner with Kingsport, the city would have to give BFI a 120-day notice and then let Kingsport know when to start its service.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Mount Carmel would pay Kingsport approximately $130,000 a year, which would cover the cost of an additional automated truck, cans for the 1,850 residents, and the salary of an additional employee. As the number of residents increases, the fee would also increase, McReynolds said.
Kingsport paid roughly $200,000 each for the first two automated trucks it purchased and $215,000 for the other two.
"As part of the agreement Kingsport would supply the carts and would have to buy another truck and hire another driver. The total cost of this whole package would be included in the interlocal agreement," McReynolds said.