Bids released on potential curbside sanitation change
Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023
During the Troup County Board of Commissioners’ work session on Tuesday, the county held a second public hearing for comments from the public on proposed sanitation changes. The county also unveiled bids received for potential curbside pickup and pay-as-you-throw charges.
Since the City of LaGrange made the decision to end commercial sanitation services in 2017 and stopped hauling garbage for the county, the county’s sanitation costs have jumped from $411,737 to $1.8 million over six years.
For the county to keep running sanitation the way they are doing now, the sanitation millage rate would need to be more than doubled to pay for increased costs. The current sanitation millage rate is .637 mills. The county estimates that the sanitation millage rate would need to be increased to 1.5 mills to break even on sanitation.
Under the current millage rate, the owner of a $175,000 home is paying about $44.59 for their sanitation tax. Based on the updated rate, sanitation taxes on a $175,000 home would increase to $109.41, which is about a $64 increase to their tax bill.
A $250,000 house would see sanitation taxes increase from $63.70 to $156.29. A $350,000 house would go from $89.18 to $218.81 and a $400,000 home would increase from $114.66 to $281.33.
The four options include:
A. Change Nothing
Under this option, the convenience centers would remain open as they are now. The estimated increase to the sanitation millage rate would be 1.5 mills, but the county believes sanitation costs will continue to rise. The average property owner’s sanitation millage rate would double. City residents will continue to pay for both curbside and county sanitation.
B. Close Convenience Centers, Citizens Choose Private Sanitation
With this option, the county would completely drop sanitation services. All convenience centers would close and all sanitation taxes would be eliminated. Bulky items would need to be taken to the landfill. The county believes additional wear would be placed on roads due to multiple haulers.
C. County Partners with Contractor for Curbside Pickup and Convenience Centers
Residents could choose to pay for curbside pickup, which would cost $25 to $35.50 per month for standard pickup. The service would include the use of four remaining convenience centers at no extra cost. Non-residential customers would need to pay as they throw at convenience centers.
D. Reduce Number of Convenience Centers and Pay as You Throw
Under the final option, the county estimates that sanitation costs would be reduced but not eliminated. Capital funds would still be needed for site improvements, vehicles and equipment.
County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews reiterated that no decision has been made and the commissioners are still weighing all four options.
County Manager Eric Mosley said that he recommends Option C, which would allow residents to choose how they want to handle their garbage. Residents could choose to pay for curbside service, which would include the option to drop their garbage off at a convenience center at no extra cost, or residents without curbside service could pay as they throw.
The county unveiled three bids received that could potentially be used if the commissioners opt to go with Option C. The bids include monthly curbside pickup rates, costs for additional cans and costs for backdoor service, which would be waived for residents with medical exemptions. The bids also included potential pay-as-you-throw charges.
AmWaste, out of West Point, submitted a bid with a $30.15 monthly curbside pickup fee, $5 for an extra can, and $48.75 for backdoor pickup without a doctor’s note. Pay-as-you-throw charges would be $30 for up to 3 cubic yards and a per-cubic-yard charge for additional waste.
Martin Environmental Services, out of Dothan, Alabama, submitted a bid with a $31.50 monthly curbside pickup fee, $20 for an extra can, and $10 for backdoor pickup without a doctor’s note. Pay-as-you-throw charges would be $10 per 95-gallon cart or $9 per cubic yard bulk.
Red Oak Sanitation & Recycling, out of Cumming, Georgia, submitted a bid with a $25 monthly curbside pickup fee, $12 for an extra can, and $60 for backdoor pickup without a doctor’s note. Pay-as-you-throw charges would be $5 per 30-gallon bag.
Mosley said the county would need to negotiate which convenience centers would remain open and what hours they would be operated.
Many residents again spoke out against the potential change during the public hearings with the consensus preferring the option to change nothing and accept the millage increase.