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Residential trash fees likely to increase

October 09, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown's 13,500 residential trash customers likely will face a 75-cent increase in their quarterly fees, effective Nov. 1, because Washington County has changed the rate it charges the city.

The Hagerstown City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed increase - from $22 per quarter to $22.75 - at its Oct. 22 meeting.

Council members expressed no opposition to the increase at Tuesday's meeting.

At a Sept. 10 meeting, the Washington County Commissioners raised landfill rates for high-volume users, including municipalities, local government agencies and commercial solid waste haulers who dump at least 4,000 tons a year at the Forty West Landfill.

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The rate for most landfill users is $45 per ton. For those hauling more than 4,000 tons, the rate is discounted and was $33 a ton. With the Sept. 10 vote, the rate for high-volume users and municipalities went to $36 per ton.

The change, effective Oct. 1, is expected to cost the city about $29,241, Finance Director Alfred Martin said in a staff report.

Increasing the quarterly fee should bring in about $30,000, he said.

City residential trash customers set out about 33,000 tons of trash annually, he said.

City staff asked the council to treat the proposed increase as an emergency ordinance, which means the city could approve the increase with one vote instead of two. It's an emergency because the county gave the city less than 30 days notice of the rate change, Martin said.

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