Rate hike | CraigDailyPress.com

Rate hike

City residents to pay more in landfill fees

Craig residents won’t have to use the Moffat County Landfill to feel the increase in rates slated to go into effect Jan. 1.

Those who dispose of trash using the city’s service also will feel the pinch.

The Craig City Council on Tuesday approved a rate increase for residential and commercial customers to offset what it pays to dump that trash in the landfill. Like the county’s increase, the city’s also will go into effect Jan. 1.

The fee for residential trash collection will remain at $9, but the additional $2.50 landfill fee will increase to $5.

Commercial customers will see a $1 to $2 increase in the landfill fee portion of their bills.

“It’s really just a pass through,” City Manager Jim Ferree said.

City trash collection rates haven’t increased in seven years even though the county has implemented a $16-per-ton increase in landfill fees. The rate went up to $22.50 a ton 1 1/2 years ago and will rise to $25 in January.

The city’s Solid Waste Department absorbed the last landfill fee increase, losing as much as $2,000 to $5,000 a month and eating into its reserves.

“Our reserves have been drawn down in the solid-waste fund because we absorbed that increase,” Ferree said. “It’ll be something we have to keep our eye on to make sure we did a good job estimating what the increase will cost us.”

Solid Waste Department Director Randy Call presented a smaller increase but was urged by council members to come up with a fee that wouldn’t have to be increased in a year if it were too low.

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission,” Councilor Joe Herod said.

Call said that if residents continue to dump at the current pace, the $1.50 increase he proposed wouldn’t keep up.

“It’s a little padded, but if the tonnage (of trash dumped) goes up without the customer base increasing, we’ll be in trouble,” he said.

Call said the same number of city customers threw away 400 tons more this year than last.

The increase was approved on its first reading. It must be approved on its second reading before it becomes official. It is scheduled for a second reading Dec. 7.

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