Rural residents may have to start paying for trash disposals – Newton Daily News
Renegotiating Jasper County’s formal agreement with the Newton Landfill may result in residents living in the unincorporated areas paying for contracted waste disposal services, or at least now being able to dispose of their garbage at the landfill instead of in the county in Billed.
On Tuesday, February 16, the Board of Trustees authorized the prosecution to continue renegotiating the 28E agreement. Supervisor Brandon Talsma wishes to expressly change the language of the contract in which Jasper County is invoiced directly for sales.
Instead of individual citizens being accused of throwing their rubbish away in the landfill, the county pays the bill. Jasper County also pays for the rural contract hauliers operating in the area. Talsma said this practice has been around since the 1990s and then likely worked well. But not now.
Especially when Jasper County has to collect about $ 268,000 in the next fiscal year to provide the service.
“What is currently happening is that we are paying for all rural residents / residents not having legal capacity to dispose of their household waste free of charge in the dump. That means you can go there and throw away a trash bag (and) the county will be charged at least $ 10. whether it’s five pounds of trash or 500 pounds of trash, ”said Talsma.
No other community in Jasper County pays for this service, Talsma said. Instead, cities sign a contract with a haulage company to collect trash and citizens receive a monthly bill. Talsma also said he had briefed Jody Rhone, Newton’s director of public works, of the county’s intentions and was receptive to the idea.
Geographically, it is “not feasible” for Jasper County to contract with a garbage disposal company in the same way as cities.
“Not a single contractor can offer this service,” Talsma later told Newton News. “So Jasper County has two options: we either try to close it out the same way the city does, and then we have to send a monthly bill to everyone in the county, hoping they all pay.
“Or we simply do without the service entirely.”
Last year, the county raised $ 200,000 to pay residents’ landfill fees. Talsma doesn’t know exactly how many rural residents are throwing their garbage in the landfill, but he most likely suspected it. Others either burn it or dispose of it themselves, he said.
During a recent budget workshop, Talsma called for the $ 268,000 the county would allocate for the landfill to be reduced to $ 100,000. While he expects the landfill renegotiations to be a success, as a precautionary measure, Talsma is holding back from removing these collected funds entirely.
“If 28E is not renegotiated or passed by July 1, or if there is an unforeseen consequence of it being resolved – such as illegal dumping growing exponentially – there will be money to deal with this situation if it occurs should. Said Talsma.
In 2019, Jasper County’s regulators attempted to tackle illegal dumping by creating an ordinance that directly addressed the violation and fined the first offense a hefty $ 750 fine. Offenders could also receive up to seven days in the county jail or a $ 1,000 fine for each additional offense.
Much of that regulation laid the groundwork for the renegotiated 28E deal with the Newton Landfill, Talsma said.
Some people in Jasper County might be upset by these proposed changes, Talsma noted, especially those people in rural areas who enjoyed getting their trash out for free. Others probably won’t like having to add another monthly fee to their batch of bills. Garbage transport companies could also be affected.
“If you live in a city, you can’t get rid of your garbage for free,” argued Talsma. “… We are the only county I could find in the state that does this. In 1994 it probably wasn’t that much money and it was probably a good program. But it’s not 1994. We’re looking for $ 52 a ton to get rid of our trash.
“I’ve seen it go up $ 70,000 in the three years I’ve been here. It’s one of those things that you have to weigh the pros and cons. For $ 268,000 a year, I can hire a full-time employee with perks to enforce them, fight them, and still save $ 200,000 a year.
“It’s just no longer financially feasible or sustainable.”
Before changes are made to the county’s 28E agreement with the Newton Landfill, the board of directors must present the measure on a future agenda and pass it by majority vote.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or [email protected]