BLOUNTVILLE — The Sullivan County Commission will likely vote Monday to end a taxpayer-funded brush pickup service provided to some — but not nearly all — county residents or taxpayers.
A resolution to end the service will need 13 votes for approval. At least that many commissioners have gone on the record in favor of ending the service as the resolution worked its way through the commission’s committee system in recent weeks.
Including Commissioner Dwight King, the proposal’s primary sponsor, eight commissioners were on board from the get-go — its listed co-sponsors including commissioners: Cathy Armstrong; Mark Bowery; John Crawford; John Gardner; Bill Kilgore; Bob White and Eddie Williams.
The service has never been listed as a line item in the county’s budget — in or out of the highway department’s accounts.
King and Interim Highway Commissioner Terry Shaffer now say the curbside brush pickup is costing the county about $200,000 per year. King and others have said they’d rather that money be instead spent on the highway department’s primary duty — maintaining roads.
“The bottom line is, we can’t afford to do it anymore,” King said earlier this month.
And there is some question whether brush pickup “is actually legal as we’re doing it now,” King has said.
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