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Eight protest landfill fee hike

April 12, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Eight Washington County residents Tuesday voiced objections to a proposal to hike fees charged to people who drop off trash at the landfill.

But Tuesday's hearing was relatively staid compared to the reaction the Washington County Commissioners got the last time they raised fees.

County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said an overflow crowd showed up in 1995 at a hearing in the county courthouse.

"It was packed at that time," he said.

The commissioner's small meeting room was plenty big enough to accommodate Tuesday's hearing, however.

The commissioners will consider the rate increases as part of their fiscal year 2001 budget deliberations.

The cost of a permit to dump trash at the landfill would increase to $75 a year this July and to $105 by 2003. The current fee is $25 for cars and $50 for trucks.

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Senior citizens would get a discount, paying $75 a year in 2003.

"I think it's a little outrageous to double the prices on us," said Glenn Bowman, who lives in Town Oak Village.

Presently, 9,789 people have permits to dump trash at the landfill.

The current fees do not cover expenses, said Solid Waste Director Bob Davenport. The county subsidizes the service with money from fees charged to commercial trash haulers.

Leroy Divel, who lives on Broadfording Road, predicted the county will not get as much revenue as officials expect because the fee hikes will cause some people to pay a private company.

"I think these prices are going to take a lot of people off your list," he said.

Bill Krepp, 76, of Town Oak Village, said he thinks the hikes will lead to litter.

"I think it's defeating the purpose to raise the fees like that," he said. "I can imagine you're going to see a lot of trash thrown on the roads if this goes through."

Maugansville resident Scott Wishard, 36, objected to the proposal to give a discount to seniors.

"If you're going to do it, it should be the same rate to everybody," he said.

Davenport said officials proposed giving the discount to seniors because they generally produce less trash.

"They are, for the most part, better conservationists," he said.

Joe Swope, vice chairman of the Washington County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, endorsed the fee hike proposal.

"Pay as you go instead of waiting until you get into trouble like water and sewer," he said.

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