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Disabled vets will have to wait for discussion of landfill fee waivers

September 22, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

A disabled veterans group will have to wait until spring budget discussions for consideration of its request for landfill fee waivers, the Washington County Commissioners said Tuesday.

Ernie Unger of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 14 asked the commissioners to consider waiving landfill fees for those with service-connected, 100-percent disability.

The group already receives several benefits from the state, including free license plates and free hunting and fishing licenses, he said.

Unger said those veterans have documents from the Veterans Administration that they could show at the landfill to prove their status.

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Unger said the chapter has 250 members who live in Washington County, and he estimated that represented about at least half of the disabled veterans in the county.

Many of those members live in areas with trash collection and probably do not use the landfill, he said.

County landfill use permits cost $125 per year, or $95 per year for seniors 62 and older.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval told Unger that lowering the rate for some users would mean having to raise it for other users. He said that decision should be made during the rate-setting process in the spring, when citizens can comment on the change in a public hearing.

"A world of thanks for what you all did and the sacrifices you made," Kercheval told Unger. "It's not a reflection on that end."

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire agreed, saying it was inconceivable that the county could discuss fee relief for one group without getting similar requests from other groups.

"I think that's a great request left to the public hearing process in the budget," he said.

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