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Residents sound off on Envirolink service

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SPRING HOPE — Citing early graveyard flower removal and an extended wait time for a sewer hookup, residents voiced displeasure with Envirolink, the company that handles public works for Spring Hope during the town Board of Commissioners’ Monday meeting.

Ruby Davis told commissioners she read in the newspaper that flowers needed to be removed from the town’s cemetery before Oct. 7. She said she went to the burial site Oct. 4 to pick up flowers at loved ones’ tombstones and the flowers were gone. All the flowers in the cometary were gone.

“Envirolink,” Davis said. “Every time I hear that word, my blood pressure shoots to 200. It’s time they get their crap together.”

Trying to get ahead and close out open work orders, a couple of workers removed the flowers early, said Matthew Littell, the Envirolink employee assigned to Spring Hope.

“I apologize on behalf of Envirolink,” Littell said. “There’s no justified excuse.”

The residents will be reimbursed, Littell said.

Rhonda Mills is building a house on N.C. 581 in the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. She told commissioners it took at least two months for Envirolink to come out and drill holes for her sewer line.

Town Manager Jae Kim said the delay was the result of a perfect storm of problems, including an actual storm — Hurricane Dorian, which moved over the area in early September.

Kim said the required hole was so deep that Envirolink had to get a subcontractor to do the job, but a misunderstanding prevented the subcontractor from being hired initially.

Mills said the work has finally been completed, but she wanted to let the board know how long it took.

“I want to help someone else so this doesn’t happen to them,” Mills said.

Commissioner Brent Cone told Mills she provided valuable input and asked her to get involved with the town.

Commissioner Ricky Tucker said it shouldn’t have taken so long for the work to get done.

“It sounds like we have an issue again of Envirolink not doing their job,” Tucker said.

Commissioner Drew Griffin asked Littell to be more proactive in looking after the town’s needs.

Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce President Allen Barbee said Envirolink did a great job cleaning up the town ahead of the Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival.

Cone said he expects that level of service year-round.

“It needs to be Pumpkin Festival 365 as far as y’all are concerned,” Cone said.

At last month’s town meeting, Commissioner Brenda Lucas drilled Littell about why Envirolink hadn’t done a better job of pulling weeds in the town’s depot area flowerbeds.

Commissioners also asked why plots in Oakdale Cemetery were overgrown with brush.

Lucas said at the end of that meeting that the town should just terminate its contract with Envirolink regardless of any consequences.