BOC continues discussion of trash disposal

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Mandatory trash disposal in Holiday Island is not a done deal, and Monday the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (HISID) Board of Commissioners continued to discuss the issue with District Manager Kevin Crosson and Carroll County Solid Waste Authority (CCSWA) Director Roger Miner.

"I would like to set up a date for a public forum," Crosson said at the outset and later said there might be a need for more than one forum on this complex issue.

Major items of discussion were billing part-year residents and billing for the recycling drop-off center on Parkwood Avenue behind the Citgo station.

Miner said a "dormant fee" should be charged for part-year residents as a fair way to keep track of billing. Otherwise, there is a percentage of people who have a tendency to abuse the situation and try to avoid paying for trash pickup.

"The trash haulers are great at keeping track of dormant residences," he said. "If it gets abused, they'll be all over that and they'll let the district know. They also keep track of the over-limits."

Commissioner Bill Branum asked how much a hauler has to charge to make a profit, and said he had gotten more calls over that than anything else.

Miner explained that when he worked for BFI Haulers and had to prepare competitive bids, what ended up happening in the "rabid competition" atmosphere is that small haulers with low bids won the bid but were not realistically funded at those rates and were not able to perform the agreed-upon service or ended up not lasting out their term.

"So then BFI did what was necessary to get their prices down but wrote in contingencies to get the rates back up." He said that was a nasty surprise for residents.

Miner said he couldn't see charging less than $17 a month for regular service. He noted the two biggest haulers, Ace and American, had raised their rates recently because of the rising costs of fuel and disposal rates.

"Sixteen to $20 will fund good service, and anything less will not give you good, reliable service, and the customers will not be happy," he said.

The trash service through CCSWA would include curbside recycling.

Purchase of the hauler's own trash bags and having pickup be based on when the bags are put out was suggested as a possible remedy for the "dormant billing" question.

"I caution you on this," Crosson said. "It clearly needs to be thought out. If I've got 13 bags, and then I dump the rest of my trash in the cul-de-sac...."

Chairman Boyce Williams noted that probably 80 percent of the somewhat 1,300 water meter customers use a trash service, but 20 percent don't have a trash service and take their trash to Berryville.

The recycling drop-off center was also discussed. Recently CCSWA has asked the district to partially fund it at $5,000 a year. Currently CCSWA provides the service at no charge. It was never contracted by the district nor the developer, who merely made space available for the bins.

Some property owners asked why the district should pay for the center.

One asked why the district should pay and not recoup anything the CCSWA would make selling the recyclables.

Another said use of the center is by 70 percent Holiday Island residents and asked why they should pay for the other 30 percent non-residents.

"Berryville has Missouri people who come and use theirs," said Miner. "Eureka Springs had Holiday Island folks who used theirs before we put this one here. Eureka Springs pays $15,000 a year for their center."

He said it was like a community service and an exchange of good will between communities.

Commissioner Ken Mills said he was initially against a mandatory trash service "because I didn't see the problem. But a lot of people have come to the district to complain about people putting trash in their dumpsters."

Crosson said in another part of the meeting he would move back any recommendations for a vote on this issue until the end of the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of next year to give plenty of time for discussion.

The district is planning a tentative forum on the subject for Sept. 13 in the evening. A more specific time will be announced well in advance.

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