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Trash fees going up

July 01, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hagerstown residents start paying more today to throw away their trash.

The trash collection fee which had been $50 a year is now $82 annually for the roughly 13,100 residential households in Hagerstown.

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But even with the fee increase, Hagerstown residents still pay less for trash collection than residents of Martinsburg, W.Va., Chambersburg. Pa. and Waynesboro, Pa. And in those Pennsylvania municipalities resident's trash is picked up once a week, compared to twice a week trash collection in Hagerstown.

Hagerstown City Councilman J. Wallace McClure said he was happy to hear that Hagerstown offered a "very competitive and affordable price," for trash collection.

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"Perhaps it shows that it was too inexpensive for too many years in the past," McClure said.

The other cities surveyed for this report, Frederick, Md., and Cumberland, Md., fund their trash collection service with tax dollars and do not charge their residents a separate trash collection fee.

According to Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger, the estimated 4,000 Waynesboro households each pay $26.25 every three months - $105 a year - for once-a-week trash collection and an every-other-week curbside recycling program.

In Chambersburg roughly 6,300 households pay $8.50 a month - $102 annually - for once-a-week trash collection and a once-a-month curbside recycling program, said Richard Hawbaker, operations supervisor for the borough public works department.

The roughly 5,000 households in Martinsburg are now charged $160 a year for twice-a-week trash collection service, said Mark Spickler, city finance officer.

The Martinsburg fee was $135 before being increased this year.

Cumberland and Frederick have twice-a-week trash collection like Hagerstown. But in those cities there is not a separate trash collection fee charged to residents.

In Cumberland the tax rate is $2.62 per $100 of assessed property value compared to $1.73 per $100 of assessed value in Hagerstown.

Hagerstown's tax rate was decreased by 1 cent for this year. A move made possible by the increase to the city trash collection fee. Both the increased trash collection fee and cut in the property tax rate were approved as part of the fiscal year 2000 budget, which was approved in May.

The Frederick property tax rate is $1.59 per $100 of assessed property value.

There are roughly 12,000 households in Cumberland.

There are an estimated 16,000 households in Frederick.

All of the municipalities surveyed except Frederick and Cumberland, include curbside recycling programs in their trash collection service.

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