Concerns voiced over aging garbage trucks at Columbus City Council

Concerns voiced over aging garbage trucks at Columbus City Council

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The City of Columbus is facing a critical need in replacing its worn out fleet of garbage trucks.

Internal and Forensic auditors for the city presented their findings to city leaders during Tuesday's city council meeting.

Rebecca Myers said a vast majority of the city's trash pick-up trucks are well beyond their useful life span.

On average, city vehicles are 13 years old, almost double their original life span.

"We have had exposed wiring; we have seats that are deteriorating. We even have had a can fire and this truck we were lucky, when the cab fire took place, we were able to get them out of the vehicle and from my understanding, no one was injured," stated Myers.

There are also leaks, corrosion and cracks in the old vehicles. The maintenance or upkeep for the trucks also present an ongoing problem.

Myers added the older the trucks are the more the repair cost adds up.

"It costs $40 to $50,000 per truck to maintain," said Myers.

Internal Auditor John Redmond gave several recommendations to cure the trashy problem. Redmond suggested entering into a leasing program to replace 50 worn out trucks with new ones.

The big question is where is the money going to come from.

Redmond proposed increasing monthly garbage fees by $5, from $15 to $20 a month.

The reason the situation is so bad regarding the trucks is the city stopped buying vehicles on a regular basis in 2008, according to Myers.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said she is not going to propose an increase to $20.

"I don't think that's the appropriate thing to do," explained Tomlinsom.

She is planning to include a proposal addressing the fleet issue in her budget later this month.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.