New residents in rural Velma might not be able to get trash service through the town.

Brenda Merchant, Waste Connections municipal manager, attended Tuesday’s regular Town Council meeting to discuss problems related to taking on more customers in areas surrounding the town.

“My responsibility first is to take care of the town of Velma,” Merchant told council members.

She said Waste Connections wouldn’t mind providing service to new customers in Velma’s outlying areas, but driving out of the coverage area wasn’t cost effective for the company.

To get service, new customers would have to set up a contract through Waste Connections.

Merchant said the company couldn’t add new rural customers at the rate previously provided to the town.

She said that within the town, the polycarts are close together because the homes are close together, but in rural areas, Waste Connections might end up going out to one home to pick up trash.

Mayor Wayne Wright said he understood the concerns Waste Connections had with servicing new rural customers at the town’s rate.

“It will drag our overall service down,” Wright said. “We have a locked customer base.”

Because Waste Connections has continued to take on new customers in the rural areas, Merchant said the coverage area has continued to grow.

Trash trucks get about two miles per gallon of gas, and to go out to a new customer in rural Velma would cost Waste Connections significantly in fuel.

In other discussion, it was noted the 19th annual Oklahoma Trash Off will be at 4 p.m. April 4.

The Velma-Alma School Beta Club, 4-H Club and Boy Scouts will take part in the event.

At the next council meeting, members will discuss the Velma employee personnel manual as it applies to sick time.

The members are planning to draw up a new resolution, which may include granting a maximum of 120 hours of sick leave for new employees, and having employees who are planning to take sick leave and don’t have a supervisor report to at least one council member.

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