Council, tire dealers compromise

Published 9:35 am Friday, May 18, 2012

The Bainbridge City Council has compromised with local tire dealers about how the scrap tires they collect should be stored.

City officials had proposed an ordinance to regulate large piles of scrap tires because they were deemed eyesores and potential health and fire risks.

The final ordinance passed unanimously by the council on Tuesday is less strict on tire dealers, some of whom had complained that they would be unreasonably burdened by the rules that were initially proposed.

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Earlier drafts of the ordinance would have required scrap tires stored on non-residential property to be put into covered shipping containers, which had to be placed at least 50 feet away from the nearest building.

However, the final ordinance doesn’t require the covered storage container—instead, it merely states that the tires shall be stored away from public view and that the collected tires be removed at least once every 30 days.

Deputy City Manager Dustin Dowdy explained that the changes were made after city officials met with local tire dealers the previous week to discuss the ordinance. Businessmen Billy Gray, Larry Wilkinson and David Powell had each spoken before the council at its May 1 meeting.

The final ordinance still contains an earlier revision that requires tire dealers to charge a minimum fee of $3 to dispose of each used tire, if their customers choose to leave them behind.

City Council members Luther Conyers and Roslyn Palmer both asked Dowdy whether he believed charging a disposal fee would cause some customers to take used tires with them and discard them somewhere else to avoid paying the fee.

Gray said tire dealers have already been charging customers at least a $2 disposal fee; Dowdy said some dealers specifically list the fee separately on invoices, while some just include it in the price of replacing the used tire.

Dowdy noted the ordinance permits individuals to store up to four tires on their property at one time. If tires began stacking up on private property, the issue could be taken up with the property owner or in the event of illegal dumping, Public Safety officers could get involved, Dowdy said.

Palmer suggested that dealers could mark the customer’s name on any used tires the customer chose to take with them, however, Powell suggested that would create more work for tire dealers.

Dowdy said he believed that since the group of tire dealers had been amenable to reaching a compromise on the ordinance, that if any more issues with scrap tires came up in the future, another meeting could be held to discuss them.

“We want to do the right thing and follow the rules,” Gray said. “You told us that piles of tires was a problem, we’ve agreed to do something about it.”


Bids and Bills

There being no bids for consideration, the City Council unanimously approved the following bills: $3,838.85 from Georgia Power of Atlanta, Ga., for new electric service at the Earle May Boat Basin Park; $25,747.75 from the Decatur County Board of Commissioners for April inmate and landfill charges; and $12,000 from the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency for pollution liability insurance.