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ST. MATTHEWS - Garage/trash collection hit a major snag in St. Matthews recently after both of the town's trucks broke down.

Town Administrator Milton Pope said residential garbage collection was late and commercial garbage was not picked up as a result. The situation was aggravated by the fact that two town employees were out that day, he said.

Pope said the town needs to find a long-term solution to garbage collection, noting that the rear-loading trucks like St. Matthews has are not safe and the cost of renting one is $7,500 per month.

The matter was referred to executive session.

Also during the meeting, Councilwoman Eloise Shuler Guinyard requested that the right-of-way paralleling Fair Street, which has a sewer line under it, be cleared of underbrush. She said it is hard for residents to get through the area, and added that nefarious activities were occurring on the overgrown property.

The cost of clearing the right-of-way is $1,800 and must be done by a private firm since the town doesn't have the equipment, it was noted.

Council voted 5-2 to have the right-of-way cleared.

In other business:

  • Mayor Helen Peterson reported the St. Matthews Christmas Parade had to be cancelled due to the rainy weather.
  • The mayor announced a Christmas celebration for town employees will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 24.
  • Don Rickenbaker requested the town install a new water line and meters on his two properties on Bridge Street. The council voted unanimously to take appropriate action on the request but said no free water taps would be provided.
  • Town officials will attend a planning meeting with Lower Savannah Council of Governments representatives on Dec. 10, it was announced.
  • The mayor reported town offices be closed for Christmas on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 25-26.
  • The November St. Matthews Police Department report indicated there were 52 calls. Police issued 48 traffic tickets, were called to two motor vehicle accidents, investigated four assaults with two arrests, had one driving under suspension violation, three larcenies and one shoplifting.
  • Last month's fire department report indicated there were 12 calls, including one building fire, one brush fire and two EMS assists.
  • Council went into closed executive session to consider a public safety issue and a potential contractual matter related to garbage collection service.

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Contact the writer: 803-874-3276.

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