Council to consider repeal of trash fees

By Staff | Aug 08, 2014

Rockland — Those who signed a petition seeking to repeal the new pay-per-bag trash fees for the city may get what they want at the Aug. 11 City Council meeting.

At the meeting the council will consider an ordinance amendment that would repeal the pay-per-bag plan and give in to the wishes of the petitioners, according to Mayor Larry Pritchett.

The following is his explanation, which he sent in an email to members of the local press:

"As you are all aware, a group of Rockland residents have submitted to the clerk for verification approximately 700 signatures on petitions seeking to repeal two provisions of the recent amendments to the City's Solid Waste Ordinance.

"The primary practical impact of the petitioners request would be to void the new requirement that as of May 2015 all residents bringing household trash directly to the City's Solid Waste Facility 'pay per bag' of household trash disposed of there (in effect reinstating the current single price sticker option for residents).

"...In short this means that Council has the option of either enacting the ordinance amendment sought by the petitioners (1st reading at Council's 8/11 meeting & 2nd reading at Council's 9/8 meeting) or sending the issue forward as a referendum question to voters (at Council's 9/8 meeting). Both are valid options under the city's code.

"Wednesday morning, after conferring with the (city) clerk, the attorney and the acting city manager, I asked that an ordinance amendment which makes the same changes requested by the petitioners be added for Council's consideration at the 8/11 meeting.

"I would note that 700 residents appear to have expressed opposition to or at least reservations about the solid waste ordinance changes recently enacted by council. On many local municipal ballot questions in Rockland, 700 votes would be a clear majority.

"I am willing to take 700 signatures on petitions seeking to overturn a new ordinance as a strong enough expression of voter reservations to simply repeal the ordinance provisions in question. Council has discussed a number of changes at solid waste (like single stream recycling) and the petitioners raised additional questions (like curbside pickup).

"And, from the comments made, folks on all sides of this questions seem to share some common goals (reduce the amount of trash the city has to pay to have trucked off and either burned or landfilled, lower the overall costs of the solid waste operations to the community, distribute those costs fairly, etc.).

"I think council's (and the community's) time would be best spent moving forward in a direction at Solid Waste that does not mandate an approach that so many residents continue to find objectionable.

"I debated in my own mind up until the evening of council's July 14th meeting whether to support the "pay per bag" approach given past (and current) questions from residents. I intend to support the ordinance amendment on council's 8/11 agenda repealing the provisions the petitioners are seeking to have overturned."

Mayor Larry R. Pritchett

Comments (8)
Posted by: Beverly St. Clair | Aug 10, 2014 09:02

Rockland's trash problem's are flow control, trying to compete with private sector, high equipment costs and high labor costs at landfill.

 With twenty plus years in solid waste, recycling, demo debris hauling and curbside pickups. I would love to share my idea's and thoughts with anyone interested in a point of view from the private for profit solid waste sector. Please feel free to stop by Thomaston Recycling  56 Butler Rd. to see me or call        701-8018. Scott Johnson

Posted by: Russell Garfield York | Aug 10, 2014 07:05

then head back to ohio weir it costs less

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Aug 09, 2014 08:39

Mr. DC I believe the handwriting is on the wall, if he City decides against the pay by bag I am positive they will be wanting the $143.00 a year [I think that is what they proposed] for the dump fee before they changed their minds and decided pay by the bag.  ALSO I TAKE CARE OF MY OWN TRASH AND RECYCLE 98 PERCENT OF WHAT I TAKE TO THE DUMP!!!

Posted by: Dennis Corkum | Aug 09, 2014 08:12

I currently pay $65 for a dump sticker and take care of my own trash and recycles.  It's not a problem.  Why on earth would I want to pay $200 per year plus the added expense to the town (tax increase) for labor and equipment for someone to pick up my trash? My only fear is the cost of the dump sticker will become prohibitive. I feel $65 is quite enough.  I hope the Council doesn't consider a repeal a blank check to raise rates.

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Aug 09, 2014 01:49

PJ Walter what are you talking about?  I expected you to purchase the garbage and recycle trucks for the City.  It was just an option. I bet the city wastes enough money to pay for the garbage trucks if they wanted to.  Rockland is a beautiful place but some of the things that go on here boggle my mind.

Posted by: PJ Walter | Aug 08, 2014 16:42

Susan, are you going to donate these trash trucks to the city.  I'm imagine they will be quite expensive.  I thought the goal was to reduce the tax burden.

Posted by: Russell Garfield York | Aug 08, 2014 16:29

its about time the mayor wrote up the people of rockland have had enough about this pay per bag if council dose not over turn it then it will happen in nov and quess what their is two seats up for reelection hope the city council with take care of this mess Monday nite

Posted by: Susan P Reitman | Aug 08, 2014 15:34

I do not think the City should force residents to pay by bag to take their trash to the dump.  I believe there 2 better options.  Option 1 allow residents pay for a yearly dump sticker in May like we have been doing.  Option 2 City purchase trash trucks for homeowner curbside trash collection on day a week.  Also when I lived in Ohio one day a week they came around and picked up all your recycle materials.  It was the homeowner's responsibility to separate the materials and put them is separate blue plastic bins at the curb to be picked up.  In 2006 I was paying $50.00 every three months for the service and it was wonderful.

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