TUSCUMBIA, AL - The Tuscumbia City Council this week discussed solutions to fund broken down trucks in the Public Works Department, according to the TimesDaily.

Council members discussed a variety of options, ranging from raising residential garbage rates by $2 a month to going with a private contractor such as Waste Management.

No action was taken on the issue, which was brought up when Public Works Superintendent Bo Stanley told the council a garbage truck is again in the shop. Garbage and brush trucks have broken down numerous times in recent years, and the city has had to replace or repair them.

"We've averaged about $20,000 to $25,000 per year in repair costs for sanitation trucks the last three years," Stanley said.

Councilman Richard Coates suggests increasing rates by $2 per month. Council President Bobby Mitchell said that could increase funds by about $60,000 a year. A Public Works Department city clerk said the department has an operating budget of $754,000 for garbage and brush pickup.

This discussion comes while city department heads are struggling with budgets that are smaller than the previous year's.

Coates said the city is paying for trucks out of its general fund and that a rate increase in garbage would allow them to set aside funds for the trucks.

Councilman Randy Davis said all avenues need to be explored before approving a rate increase, especially during a recession. Councilors said garbage collection costs each household about $8 to $9 per month, and the city collects from 4,800 homes.

The council directed Stanley to look at his department's budget to compare expenditures to collections, and look into whether a private service would be less expensive. He also will look at the costs and availability of buying or leasing a garbage truck, according to the TimesDaily.