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Troubled trash hauler is purchased

In a development that should benefit aggravated customers, troubled hauler Citrus Sanitation Services has been purchased by Majestic Disposal Inc., Citrus County Solid Waste Division director Susan Metcalfe said Tuesday.

Metcalfe said she learned about the purchase from Majestic co-owner Joe Cannizzo after Tuesday's County Commission meeting, where board members had discussed the county's case against Citrus Sanitation.

The company got into trouble with the county last year after Metcalfe's office began receiving a flood of calls about bad service. Majestic, which joined Citrus Sanitation and other small companies in entering the local hauling business last year, has a good reputation, she said.

People, "should be getting better service," she said. Metcalfe did not know how many households were on Citrus Sanitation's customer list.

Metcalfe said she is waiting to receive a formal letter from Majestic laying out the terms of the purchase.

As for the official status of the county's administrative action against Citrus Sanitation, which sought to force owner Theresa Mimnaugh out of business by Tuesday and inform customers about that fact, County Attorney Larry Haag suggested those issues would become moot "if the company no longer exists."

However, the county does have an active case with the State Attorney's Office to recover about $2,000 in bad checks written by Mimnaugh and Citrus Sanitation.

In other commission news:

Board members decided once again to oppose a legislative proposal aimed at pressuring local governments into rejecting franchising for trash haulers.

Franchising is a program that limits the number of service companies in a particular area. Under the proposal, local governments would have to give losing haulers three years notice before implementing franchising or pay such haulers an amount that equals the company's last 15 months of gross receipts in the franchise area.

Members voted to register their opposition with the Florida Association of Counties.

The board heard an appeal from Putnam County Commissioner Howard Grisham to support the preservation of Kirkpatrick Dam _ once called Rodman Dam _ which environmentalists have wanted to dismantle for years in an effort to restore the Oklawaha River.

The state Department of Environmental Protection on Monday renewed its application to dismantle the dam for 30 days to give the St. Johns River Water Management Board time to review the issue. Grisham called efforts to destroy the dam an attack on home rule and the local economy.

Rodman Reservoir, which was formed by the dam during the construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, is a popular fishing area. But endangered manatees have been found dead in the structure.

Commissioners said they would look into the issue before making a commitment.