By Ben Lawson
After years of talking, searching and negotiating, the waste disposal problems facing Seymour’s residents have been resolved, leading to some big changes.
Back in October, the county renegotiated contracts with the owners of private lands which were being leased to the county for convenience center locations.
The search for a new location in Seymour began after the lease with Roger Floyd’s market was due to expire and Floyd, after years of working with the county, asked for a higher rate. The search, which dragged on for several years, ultimately led to the county reexamining their contracts with all the owners.
The goal was to provide a fair price to the five private owners by upping their lease rates to $250 per month on a one year lease which would automatically renew every year unless one or both parties opt out, as proposed by 6th District commissioner Bill Oakes.
“Our committee voted to approach each of those people individually, Roger being included, for the one year lease,” he said. “As far as I’ve heard, no one opposed it.”
With Seymour’s convenience center hunt over, the county has now focused on their initiative to upgrade the facilities to better promote cleanliness and efficiency, with some of those changes already kicking in.
The site off Boyd’s Creek, by the Hardin Alternative Learning Center, has been moved to a new location just minutes away on Hodges Bend Road. When it opened Nov. 21, members of the Sevier County Mayor's Office, School System, Solid Waste department, Keep Sevier Beautiful and county commissioners held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the reveal of what they hope will become the model for similar sites across the region.
“I think everyone will be pleased with this new facility,” said Solid Waste Director Dan King. “This site should be able to accommodate residents’ everyday trash disposal needs.”
The new site features three compactors, dumpsters for metal and demolition waste, oil, antifreeze and cardboard recycling areas and an electronics drop-off. The move was made to accommodate improvements at the Hardin center, such as better access for vehicle traffic, to be implemented by the School Board.
As for the Seymour convenience center behind Floyd’s Market, the Hodges Bend location should serve as a preview of what’s to come.
“We are going to upgrade that facility and the old one will be eliminated,” Oakes said.
He indicated that work would begin early next year and would be along the same lines as the new site, but on a smaller scale due to space limitations.
“I think the public will be pleased with the upgrades behind Floyd’s,” he said.
Until then, Floyd’s remains open and the new site will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is open on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"This center is an example of what can be accomplished for the benefit of our citizens,” said Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters. “I would like to thank the school system, our commissioners and Solid Waste department for working together to make this possible.”
Changes Underway for Centers
By Ben Lawson