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Aldermen raise landfill dump fees

Aldermen have raised the cost of dumping waste at the city’s transfer station and landfill following a discovery that Brookhaven has lost nearly $100,000 by charging less than the city’s cost to haul off the waste.

     At their Tuesday evening meeting, aldermen voted to raise dumping fees at the transfer station from $37.50 per ton to $45 per ton. Aldermen also raised rates for dumping rubbish at the city’s landfill from $20 to $25 per ton.

     Mayor Les Bumgarner informed aldermen that the city’s fees for dumping waste at the transfer station were several dollars less per ton than what Waste Management billed the city to remove the waste.

     The garbage collected in the city and county is taken to the Brookhaven transfer station where it’s collected and taken to a landfill. However, some garbage from the surrounding area also ends up at the city’s landfill.

     The city had been charging $37.50 to dump garbage at the city’s transfer station, which had been under Waste Management’s oversight until recently.

     City officials thought its fee covered what the city was charged by Waste Management to dispose of the garbage. However, as of recently, Waste Management had been charging the city $40.72 per ton.

     “We’ve been subsidizing people dumping at the transfer station,” Bumgarner said.

     The price discrepancy has been going on about two and a half years, said Willie Smith, manager of the city’s Solid Waste Department.

     In that period, Smith estimated the city lost about $100,000 due to undercharging on dumping fees.

     When questioned by aldermen about the matter, Smith said he didn’t know how the problem occurred.

     City Clerk Mike Jinks was absent from Tuesday’s meeting. When contacted Friday he said the Waste Management bills had come to his office to be paid, but only after the Solid Waste Department first verified them.

     When Waste Pro replaced Waste Management, Jinks said he discovered the problem.

     Waste Pro is charging $40 by the ton for disposal, a little less than what Waste Management had been charging.

     In other business, aldermen approved a decision made by the Board of Adjustments to allow an LED sign on Brookway Boulevard on an empty lot between Hudgey’s and Burger King.

     Ward Five Alderman D.W. Maxwell initially wanted to delay action on the matter, but after hearing from Leonard Busby, representing Best Outdoor, Maxwell agreed to vote and approve the sign.

     City Attorney Joe Fernald also gave aldermen drafts of an ordinance governing the employment by the city of people with criminal records. Fernald said the ordinance had initially been discussed when Bill Godbold was mayor.

     No discussion or action was taken on the ordinance.