The Limestone County Commission has decided to spend millions of dollars to establish its own solid waste collection service by April 1 rather than bidding out a new contract to replace the current collection service, which is going out of business. The commissioners unanimously voted to start their own garbage service in an effort to avoid raising the cost of residents’ bills. If they had contracted the service to a new company, Limestone County Engineer Marc Massey said, the cost for customers would have increased.

CCS Garbage Service has held the contract for Limestone County since 1977, and Steve Gatlin, 62, its owner since 1989, has decided to retire and close the business. Massey said only one of the garbage service companies he spoke with was willing to keep the same rate as CCS even temporarily. According to Massey, that company said it would soon have to raise its rates.

District 4 Commissioner LaDon Townsend said he voted for the commission to start its own service with the goal of keeping customers’ rates at the same level. “The contractors we had talked to, some of them, we just felt like we were going to have to increase the rate and that’s something that I didn’t want to do,” he said. “We just had a rate increase and I felt like we needed to keep it low.”

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Author: Erica Smith, The Decatur Daily, Yahoo!