In an effort to help residents affected by the COVID-19 crisis, city leaders have suspended disconnects from city water service, and cut the price of an additional trash can in half.
Palestine City Manager Leslie Cloer and council members decided to suspend disconnects from water service for one billing cycle. Late fees will not be automatically removed, however. To be considered for late-fee forgiveness, residents should call City Hall at 903-731-8400.
In a 5-1 vote, council members reduced the cost for an additional garbage can from trash collection contractor Waste Connections from $10 to $5 – the city's cost for an extra can. Any additional cans would be at the normal rate, and rates will return to normal after the emergency declaration is rescinded.
District 2 Councilman Mitchell Jordan, who cast the one dissenting vote, said better, less costly options for residents had not been considered.
“The water issue is a no-brainer,” Jordan told the Herald-Press Wednesday. “It's the least we can do. But, there's more we can explore with the trash collection; we haven't even approached Waste Connections.”
Jordan proposed speaking with the trash collection contractor to see if they could increase to two collections a week during the crisis.
Palestine City Manager Leslie Cloer, and Mayor Steve Presley said they would discuss the matter with Waste Connections. If the contractor agrees to the second pickup, they said, the issue will be revisited during a future council meeting.
District 1 council member Larissa Loveless told the Herald-Press the council had to act quickly to give residents some relief.
“There are people in the community that flat-out just don't have jobs because of this,” Loveless said. “People are being affected by the economy shutting down so quickly; it's just the right thing to do. I wish it could be more.”