Moffat County landfill rates set to rise | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County landfill rates set to rise

Lauren Blair

Getting rid of your refuse could get a little pricier in 2018 under proposed tipping fee increases for the Moffat County Landfill.

The City of Craig is the landfill's largest customer, which means the increase will likely translate into a small increase in residential trash collection rates for city residents, said Craig Mayor John Ponikvar.

"The trash collection is an enterprise fund, so what we have to do is we have to make that break even," Ponikvar said. "If the county raises rates, we don't have any choice but to raise rates for our customers."

For the average resident, rates may go up about $2 per month, according to early rough estimates.

"We hate to be raising rates on our customers, but I understand the situation the county's in and they have to maintain their budget as well as we do," Ponikvar said.

The county hasn't raised landfill rates since 2008. The proposed increase will raise tipping, or dumping, fees by $10 per ton for county residents, from $35 per ton to $45 per ton.

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The minimum load fee is proposed to increase by $2 from $8 to $10 per load.

The fee increases will amount to an estimated $100,000 per year for the City of Craig, which dumps an average of about 10,000 tons of trash annually. Since trash is covered through an enterprise fund, the rate increase will not impact the general fund, out of which Road & Bridge, Parks & Recreation and Craig Police Department are funded.

For years, the county has been losing money on the landfill, amounting to a nearly $450,000 deficit over the past three years. The county's projected loss for 2017 is nearly $275,000.

"It's one small piece in a very large puzzle. It's one area of the budget that we can correct with revenues," said Moffat County Commissioner Don Cook. "We had no choice. I know the city is struggling to fix their budget, but we are too."

The landfill already cut back its staff this year to three instead of four and can't make any further cuts, Cook added.

The next nearest landfill is in Milner and is operated Twin Enviro, which charges customers a fee of $77 per ton to dump their trash.

Moffat County Commissioners plan to approve the increase within the next couple weeks.

The rate increase won't go into effect until January of 2018.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.