Garbage fees may also see increase

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

Lincoln County garbage fees could also be on the rise, accordingto a discussion during Wednesday’s supervisors’ meeting on the newyear budget.

After a tax levy for garbage services was removed gradually inrecent years, Comptroller David Fields said the solid waste cashreserve fund is depleting. The depletion is the result of current$6-a-month fees being insufficient to cover yearly garbage-relatedexpenses.

Fields presented estimates for increasing the garbage fee. Newmonthly fee estimates ranged from just under $8 to $9.

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“People are going to go high in the sky,” said District 1Supervisor Cliff Givens when presented with the garbage feeestimates.

District 3 Supervisor Nolan Earl Williamson said citizens arehaving trouble with the fees now.

“How do you justify (a $3 increase) when people can’t pay $6now,” Williamson asked.

Wednesday’s solid waste analysis showed 8,778 active solid wasteaccounts in the county. Of those, 913 were a year or moredelinquent and 424 were two years or more delinquent.

Lincoln County’s current $6 a month garbage fee is the lowest inthe area, county officials said. Other area county garbage feeswere:

* Pike — $9 a month, plus a one-mill levy on propertytaxes.

* Franklin — $8 a month.

* Amite — $8 a month.

* Copiah — $6 a month.

* Walthall — $8 a month.

New Lincoln County monthly fee totals were based on an 89percent collection rate.

Supervisors and officials have worked to improve that rate. Theycalled for stronger enforcement efforts Wednesday, includingGivens’ suggestion of locking people up for excessive delinquentaccounts.

Givens warned that if the garbage fee was raised to $9 a month,more people would likely not pay the bill.

However, officials also disliked the possibility of putting alevy back on property taxes to fund the service. They havemaintained a fee is the fairest way to pay for garbageservices.

“The landowner ends up subsidizing people who don’t pay theirbills,” Fields said about the implications of a tax levy forgarbage services.

Supervisors took no action on the garbage fee plans Wednesday.The county’s new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, which is also the startof a new year billing period for garbage fees.