Beginning Oct. 1, Lawrence County garbage customers who live in Courtland and North Courtland will begin receiving their bills from Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Cooperative.

In a meeting this morning, the Lawrence County Commission voted 4-0 to pass the billing process over to JWEMC.

While many county residents who receive their utility bills from the co-op are already billed $14 for the garbage service as well, Courtland and North Courtland residents have been charged the fee through their water provider, West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority.

Last month, the commission had voted to take on the billing for Courtland and North Courtland residents after WMEL decided to end its contract with the county, effective Sept. 30, according to commissioners.

“This supersedes the motion that was voted on in the August meeting,” District 4 Commissioner Bobby Burch said, following an hour-long executive session Friday.

In the nearly two months following WMEL’s decision, it has been unclear who would take on the billing process or how bills would be administered and enforced.

During last month’s meeting, Solid Waste Operations Manager Angela Baldwin said the county was also faced with the challenge of creating a complete list of all county residents who were billed for the garbage service through WMEL, as well as accurate addresses and the number of trashcans that were provided to each customer.

Burch said he expects the commission to pass a resolution in the next monthly meeting to address rules and regulations regarding the billing and any delinquent accounts.

In Friday’s meeting, the commission also named Loretta Cottingham as the new Lawrence County Airpark manager following the death of her husband and former airport director Anthony “A.C.” Cottingham.

A.C. Cottingham died in a crop-dusting plane crash near the Franklin and Lawrence county line on Labor Day. He had served as the airport’s director for the past four years.

“We lost a really good friend and employee that day,” District 5 Commissioner Joey Hargrove said. He also made a motion to approve the contract with Loretta Cottingham retroactively for Sept. 2.

A special ceremony for the Cottingham family will be held in the late director’s honor on Oct. 11, during the commission’s regular monthly meeting, Burch said.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved a payment of $72,000 of TVA in-lieu-of-tax funds to Lawrence County volunteer fire departments and the Lawrence County Rescue Squad following a Legal Compliance Audit. County Administrator Heather Dyar said a check in that amount would be distributed among the county’s volunteer departments and rescue squad.

• Approved the hiring of Deputy Danny Keith Pepper Jr. to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, effective Aug. 19.

The Lawrence County Commission will meet again Monday at 1 p.m. to discuss the county’s fiscal 2020 budget.
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