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Martinsburg raising trash rates

May 14, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Martinsburg City Council on Thursday adopted an ordinance to increase garbage collection fees, which officials have said will help pay for new sanitation and recycling trucks, and cover the cost of increased dumping fees charged by the operators of the North Mountain landfill.

None of the four residents who attended Thursday's council meeting offered any comment in a public hearing concerning the rate increase ordinance.

Beginning July 1, residents who receive a discounted rate for paying their garbage collection bills within 20 days of the billing date will be charged $5.74 more per month, or an additional $68.88 per year, according to ordinance.

About 80 percent of the customers take advantage of the 18 percent discount program, city officials have said.

Without the discount, the regular rate for sanitation service would increase by $7 per month, or an additional $84 per year. Annual Dumpster (3 cubic yard size) rates would increase by $250 per weekly pickup.

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The last flat rate increase took effect in July 2007. Even with the proposed increase, residents who pay their bill early for twice-weekly pickup service would still pay less than county residents, according to city officials. The city's sanitation department also includes a curbside recycling pickup service.

-- Matthew Umstead

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