In an effort to use government funds more efficiently and to keep taxes low, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners has approved a plan to adjust schedules of the county's waste disposal convenience centers.
Before making the changes, which will take effect Aug. 3, months of study of the current schedules were evaluated to determine the most cost effective, yet convenient, uses of the facilities, said board Chairman Marty Smith.
"Our Number One priority is to be good stewards of taxpayer money," said Smith. "This change will result in an annual savings for the county of about $190,000 per year, yet our citizens will still experience a high level of service."
Smith said the county worked with long-time local government experts to conduct a study of each facility and how we compared to other counties around our area. Traffic of each center was noted in addition to proximity of one center to another. Schedules were adjusted based on usage flow and location.
As a result of the evaluation process, it was recommended that Carroll County close the Lovvorn Road center, next to the University of West Georgia stadium, because of low volume and the proximity of the Simonton Mill Road and Newnan Road centers. Closing the facility will likely result in more usage of the Simonton Mill center.which would increase efficiency of the program. This alone will save taxpayers more than $48,000 per year in operating costs.
Smith noted other considerations supporting the closing were the county does not own the Lovvorn Road property and that officials at UWG, owners of the property, endorsed the closing with future expansions of that area of campus.
As for the other centers, Newnan Road, Dyer Road and Temple schedules wil1 remain unchanged, continuing on a 78-hour-per-week schedule.
"No other county in the west Georgia area offers this level of accessibility," said Smith. "While other counties have more volume and fewer hours, we wanted to err on the side of our citizens by keeping these centers on their original schedules."
Other centers' hours have been adjusted to better reflect actual usage, resulting in the bulk of the cost savings to taxpayers. The new schedules are:
Tyus, Whitesburg and Bowdon Junction: Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.
Bowdon, Lowell and Simonton Mill: Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to
7 p.m. Closed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Kansas-Jake: Monday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
The eight month study concluded the recommended schedules would reduce center hours from
858 per week to 550 hours per week but would still provide citizens convenient disposal options every day.
"We were determined to maintain a high service l evel while improving efficiency and have accomplished that goal with this plan," said Smith, who noted the current "cost per visit" ranged from 31 cents at the busiest center, Dyer Road, to $2.31 at Kansas-Jake.
The county is in the process of publishing convenience center cards for citizens to keep for reference concerning the new schedules that also include recycling information. Keep Carroll Beautiful, the local Keep America Beautiful affiliate and a partner of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners, also will distribute the publication to encourage recycling efforts.