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PA approves garbage truck purchases - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

PA approves garbage truck purchases

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UPDATE: The City of Port Arthur has approved the purchase of two new garbage trucks to help with the amount of trash that is piling up in some neighborhoods. 

Monday, the city started the workday with five garbage trucks but by the end of the day they were down to two. The city says heat and old age has caused some trucks to break down. Port Arthur has had to borrow trucks from Nederland and Groves to help with trash collection. 

It will take at least two months before the city gets the new trucks. 

The total cost for the trucks will be almost $500,000. The city also approved to spend $20,000 to $30,000 to repair a garbage truck. 

Port Arthur neighborhoods are a bit more smelly and trashy, as some of the city's garbage trucks have stopped running due to repairs.

"It stank. It just purely stank," said one Port Arthur resident who's tired of the trash.

"It's piling up. The trash cans, it starts smelling bad," said another resident referencing his full to the top garbage can.

The city normally has 10 trucks in rotation to gather the local garbage but because most of them are broken down due to heat and old age some streets are on trash overload.

With their garbage cans beginning to overflow each week some residents say they're starting to share their trash bins with their neighbors but they say the worst part is the stench and the maggots.

"Right now we're experiencing a rash of break downs." Said the Director of Public Works, Ross Blackketter. He says on Monday the city started the workday with five garbage trucks but by the end of the day they were down to only two.

"Because of the budget issues we've been facing and that is having an impact now. We're doing the best we can. We're buying equipment as quickly as we can to get this resolved."

Blackketter asks Port Arthur residents to be patient and to leave out their full garbage cans because they will find a way to come pick them up.

"We've been working till sunset in the evenings," said Blackketter. "We've been working extra days at the end of the week but we are getting each week collected on the week it's supposed to."

Port Arthur has asked nearby Nederland and Groves to help with trash collection. The cities are providing trucks and drivers, and then Port Arthur must reimburse them for overtime and mileage.

Public works is asking the city to purchase two new ones but it will take at least two months to get the new trucks if that's approved.

The total cost for the purchase of two new trucks is almost $500,000 plus the city manager would consider spending $20 to $30,000 to repair a garbage truck.

This issue will be on tonight's agenda at the Port Arthur city council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.

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