Surfside Beach is considering picking up trash in the Caropines area to generate move revenue, two years after canceling the service to that neighborhood.
John Adair, public works director in Surfside Beach, said that the previous service to the nearly 200 homes behind Wild Water and Wheels on the west side of U.S. 17 business produced about $30,000 profit for the town.
Restarting the collection to the community is part of a series of moves made by Town Council to increase revenue to cover operational costs in Surfside Beach. Already, Town Council approved a 6.22 mill tax increase, gave initial approval to facility rental fee hikes, and took a step towards annexing commercial properties along Frontage Road up to Spring Avenue on the northwest border of town.
Town Council also has asked the parking committee to consider selling parking permits to non-residents, and the council is discussing a business development and marketing plan for the town.
Mayor Doug Samples said several council members expressed interest in gathering more information on sanitation services for Caropines as a “revenue enhancement.”
“I’m just not sure, in my mind, that it will generate the revenue that some expect or anticipate,” he said.
Samples said staff believes existing public works employees could absorb the additional work, but he said he’s not sure they can handle the workload they have now.
Town Council in 2012 opted to stop trash collection in Caropines, saying it shouldn’t be offered to people outside town limits. In a budget workshop in June, however, Adair was asked by Town Council to gather information, including potential rates, for leaders to consider in an upcoming meeting.
A date for council to discuss trash collection in Caropines has not been set, but Samples said it could be next month.
Councilman Mark Johnson, who was the lone dissenter to the cancellation in 2012, said he wasn’t sure it would be a successful move for the town because Caropines residents were “burned” when the service ended.
Lish Ricker, who lives in Caropines and is one of the residents who was affected by the cancellation, said she was “surprised and very angry” when she received the notice two years ago but isn’t shocked that the town is discussing it again.
“I am not surprised they want us back,” she said. “$30,000 [a] year from Caropines trash service was nothing to sneeze at, but they didn’t seem to think it mattered at the time.”
She said she had to hire a private company to collect her garbage and it costs more than what Surfside Beach charged at the time.
“We won’t be switching back to their service,” she said. “Who knows when they’ll next decide to stop servicing Caropines.”