Possible Changes Coming For Some Opp Services

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By Catalina Trivino

City leaders in Opp say they're in the "red" financially when it comes to certain services they're providing -- but not everyone is on board with the possible changes that could be coming...

Opp is different from many other cities -- for years, it's been the one to provide everything from mosquito spraying to garbage services in town without hiring private companies to do the work.

Now, some city officials say that may have to change to save money.

The city has now hired a company to spray for mosquitos and records show that will cost about $22,000 a year -- $3,000 more than if the city did the work.

And while it is more expensive, councilman, Arlin Davis, says the city does not have a permit to spray, so possible liability issues superceed the price.

"The chemicals are very deadly and if somebody doesn't know how to mix it right or gets it mixed wrong and sprays and somebody gets sick or we lose a life for it," Said Davis.

Davis says with the height of mosquito season, there was not enough time to train someone with the city to spray. But councilman, T.D. Morgan says the spraying issue was brought up with time in advance to plan for that.

"Mosquito spraying was brought up in mid April... 'we need to get something started.' The council received it July 1," Said Morgan.

The city is also studying whether outsourcing its garbage business is the right decision. Some city officials say its not feasable to provide the service because they're losing about $100,000 each year in expenses like trucks and garbage cans.

"If we contracted out to somebody, another company would come in and pick up the garbage and pay us 'x' number of dollars per can," Said Davis.

"I can remember back when we had it outsourced. You never knew what day they were going to pick the garbage up and you didn't know whether they were going to pick it up or not," Said Morgan.

And Morgan says its business that's made $2.1 million in the last five years. He says if it's keeping Opp citizens employed, he want to make sure the city continues to provide it.

City officials say spraying will start Monday at 7 p.m. In the coming weeks, they'll decide whether to hire another company for garbage services.



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