No trash, no pay


District 5 councilman, Emile Spano had a lot to discuss in last week’s council meeting. An issue that upset him most was the one where the Sweedee Company was not picking up trash in his area. He said the people who live in district 5 have not been getting their trash picked up by the Sweedee. The trash pick up truck passes through district 5 every Monday and the services aren’t being rendered. Spano isn’t happy with it.

“I’m very dissatisfied with the situation. Our constituents are paying too much money per month for services we are not getting. I understand there were all kinds of excuses or reasons given to us, but I’m up to the top with excuses. I just don’t think it’s right for our citizens to be paying for services not rendered.”

Spano made a motion to the council for the city to look into the nonpayment clauses to not pay Sweedee for the services not rendered for the past six weeks.

Councilman Reginald Francis agreed that there is a problem with the trash pickup, but at the end of the discussion Spano found himself without backup from the council and his motion was not granted.

The trash issue occurred during the buyout of Sweedee by Progressive Waste. The change started good, but worsened over time after Hurricane Isaac. The company even did extra work to help clean up the community after the hurricane, but since has slacked tremendously. There are penalties arranged in the contract agreement between the city and Progressive, formerly Sweedee, if the contract is breeched as far as services rendered.

Roddie Matherne of Progressive Waste apologized for the poor services.

“Either me, or Mr. Davis (Frank) will be here every week to make sure of those services,” Matherne said. “Again, his division is now in my area and I will oversee it. It was kind of out of my district, but now it’s back in my district and I’ll be here.”

The discussion ended with a mutual agreement between the two sides that no penalty will be issued to Progressive Waste, however Progressive agreed the lack of services is a problem and will be corrected. The council acknowledged that it would monitor the trash pickup to ensure services are being rendered.

“If this becomes more of a problem, what I recommend is a detailed record be kept of what they don’t do,” Chuck Long said, Donaldsonville’s city attorney. “And that’s not going to be a liquidated damage. That’s going to be a letter sent by the mayor saying, look you didn’t pick up these things we’re not going to pay you for what you didn’t pick up. Which is a different issue and we reserve that right in here.”