GARLAND — Town commissioners were considering the use of Envirolink to handle public work services. However, during a Tuesday night meeting, they made a decision to go in another direction.
The choice to not begin a contract was made after conversations with Board Attorney Michael Porter, who reviewed the contract. A particular reason was not stated at or after the meeting. At a July meeting, the Garland Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to view the management group as an option.
“Upon review of the contract by the attorney, it was in determined that it was not in the best interest of the town,” Commissioner Judy Smith stated after the meeting.
Based out of Bailey, the company offers services such as maintaining sewer/water lines, collections systems and other public works duties. More than 100 municipal, county industrial and private clients are served through the company. Garland used Envirolink’s services for five years before an agreement came to an end in 2016. To the fill the void, commissioners searched for full-time employees, but they ran into a few challenges doing so.
One of them included the resignation of former Commissioner Ralph Smith, who assisted with maintenance throughout town. Smith recently filed to run as mayor in Garland, a position he held in the past.
After several hiccups, commissioners are now getting closer to solving the issue with the addition of new employees. Following the unanimous decision on Tuesday to discard Envirolink, the board made a decision to hire Cory Smith to become a public works employee instead. Several conditions were added for the position at $13 per hour. The selected individual is required to sign a contract to work in the town for five years after receiving certifications.
Also, he will be hired under a probationary period of six months. During that time, the employee or town officials may terminate the contract. If funds are invested in training during his required time in Garland and the contract is terminated, he’s required to pay the town back.
Commissioners are looking for a second person to become a public works employee for the town.
“We will continue this employment search at the next board meeting,” Mayor Winifred Murphy said.
During a meeting in June, commissioners made a decision to hire a public works employee, but a few town leaders were concerned of the pay, which was $18 per hour. It was previously $13. Commissioner Judy Smith and Mayor Winifred Murphy thought the amount was too high, especially with no certifications. They also brought up another issue with the individual being related to both Ralph Smith and S.J. Smith. The candidate did not accept the position after the disagreement and Ralph Smith subsequently resigned at the end of June.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 8, at Town Hall, 190 S. Church Ave., Garland.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow the paper on Twitter @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.