BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) — The city of Brownsville was expecting to have all their brush to be picked up by the second week of June, but some residents say that is not the case.
“[They’re] passive in the regard of ‘oh don’t worry it’ll get taken care of’ but when? There’s just too many delays now,” said Paul Loverme, a Brownsville resident.
Loverme says that Republic Service’s, the city’s contracted trash service, is scheduled to pick up brush and bulk monthly, but many piles have sat for more than two.
“Where we’re now seeing their service every two to three months,” said Loverme. “Month after month we have to call the city of Brownsville’s help desk to report missed brush piles.”
Loverme is looking to sell his home and says he often has buyers that come-in from out of state, and the first thing they notice is the brush.
“They ask ‘well what is all this?’ And they ask with scrutiny like do we have to live with this if we buy?” said Loverme. “The truth is: Yes! Because of Republic’s lack of performance with the city of Brownsville.”
Loverme lives in district 4 of Brownville which is city commissioner, Ben Neece’s, district–and he says it might be time to move on from Republic.
“I am not happy with their performance let’s put it that way,” said Neece. “And they assured us that they would be on time and that they would bring in some extra contractors to help them. Since then, I have received complaints.”
Neece said they met with Republic at a workshop where they promised they would subcontract with another company to catch up, but there have been no real results yet, according to Neece.
Brownsville’s only trash company is Republic Services, and Neece says that one reason they cannot place bids for another service is due to a previous lawsuit.
“The lawsuit I referred to—recently—part of it was upon appeal regarding an injunction that prohibited us from going out and biding out to services,” said Neece.
But according to Neece, the injunction was dissolved on appeal 3 weeks ago.
“Now the city can go forward and review republic’s service,” said Neece.
The previous agreement has not allowed any other trash service to compete.
“Once the city picks it the citizens are stuck with that one service,” said Neece. “When you’re the only one in the gam–well the only thing you gotta worry about is if I am going to renew my contract.”
Neece says that one option to consider is opening the market for the customer to decide who to work with instead.
“The market is going to determine who’s going to succeed or not succeed,” said Neece.
The city of Brownville sent this statement regarding brush pick-up:
“The City of Brownsville is in close communication with Republic Services. We have been assured by the leadership at Republic Services that their services will resume on a regular schedule by June 19th and that they will exhaust all efforts to maintain that schedule.
Please tune into our Brownsville City Council meeting on Tuesday June 15 at 5:00 PM. Republic Services will provide an overview of working hours, projected schedule, and the remaining timeline.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions. You can reach the City of Brownsville at: 956-546-HELP (4357).”City of Brownsville Communications Office