The Town of Clayton’s new garbage collector will begin work this week.

Beginning Thursday (Oct. 7) at approximately 11 a.m., Clayton garbage will be picked up by Wolfe Disposal of St. Joseph.

Mayor Wilbert Washington advised Town Council members of the new pickup at their regular Oct. 5 meeting.

Town Council members awarded Wolfe Disposal the village’s solid waste contract in their September meeting. Wolfe Disposal will charge Clayton $19.80 per household for garbage pickup with small bulk pickup, and they have to provide their own garbage cans.

Some residents have Waste Pro garbage can, but Washington said the company would be picking them up this week. Waste Pro was Clayton’s previous provider for six years. 

Wolfe Disposal will pick up all solid waste except for hazardous material such as tires and batteries. According to Washington, a knuckle-boom truck will visit Clayton two to three times a year to pick up larger waste such as stoves, couches, dryers etc.

In other action, Washington warned owners of blighted property to clean up or get sited per village ordinances.

“The properties need to be brought up to code or demolished in a certain time (frame),” Washington said. “I’m not exempting myself or no one else. We got to clean up if we want to have interested businesses and revitalize Clayton.”

Village administration can condemn a blighted building through an extensive process of serving papers and possible court time. Once the property is condemned, Clayton can clean the property and put a lien on it covering the cleanup process.

Washington said cleanup efforts are being made because of the need to attract businesses and safety issues associated with blighted properties.

Additionally, Clayton has received American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds totaling approximately $77,500. The funds will be used to purchase a generator for the water plant.

Meanwhile, Washington established a three-person committee to watch over village budget numbers.

“I want to establish this committee to keep a close eye on our budget,” Washington said. “They will review our income and expenses in the budget and see if we need to adjust our budget.”

The committee is made up of Town Council members. Members are Michelle Bethea, Kevin Mitchell and Willie Evans.

The committee came about after a Legislative Fiscal Review Committee rescinded a decision to appoint a fiscal administrator, Aug. 26.

During the Fiscal Review Committee decision, Legislative Auditor Michael Waguespack called Clayton’s financial turnaround “impressive” and Washington’s improvement efforts “excellent.” 

Clayton was under a fiscal administrator order for two years mainly due to financial and infrastructure woes. An administrator was never assigned, giving Washington and aldermen time to work on dilemmas facing Clayton.

“A couple of years ago, we appointed a fiscal administrator but it got delayed,” Waguespack said in the August meeting. “That delay worked to their benefit.”

The Fiscal Review Committee highlighted several of Clayton’s moves that led to their decision. Namely, Clayton submitted its 2019, 2020 fiscal review reports; Washington and aldermen reduced their pay in order to finance the auditor; administration increased the town’s cash by $88,000; principal and interest payments are being paid on the Concordia Bank & Trust Co. loan and deficiencies in general fund revenues were cut by 50 percent.

“We have a plan going forward to cement these plans even beyond my administration,” Washington said in the August meeting. “I have a very good board of aldermen who have a good plan to improve our town.”

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