Lee County garbage pickup fee to rise

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djournal-lee-countyBy Robbie Ward

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Lee County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to increase the $9 monthly residential garbage pickup fee to $12.50.

That’s a 39 percent increase for more than 14,000 customers. The vote was 4-1.

The commercial rate will increase by 10 percent.

Lee County Solid Waste director Terry McGlaun said the increase will help keep pace with expenses, such as fuel and wear and tear on vehicles. “To continue the level of service, we need to raise the rate,” McGlaun said.

It’s the first increase since 2005.

County administrator Sean Thompson said the rate increase must be publicized according to state law before it begins, likely in December.

District 1 supervisor Phil Morgan opposed the increase.

“I can’t go that high,” he said. “All we’re doing in my opinion is making it harder for people who already pay their bill.”

Other supervisors said they didn’t like the increase but believed it was necessary.

“I hate to do it,” said District 4 supervisor Tommie Lee Ivy. “But if we’re going to operate, we’ve got to do something.”

The solid waste department has a 2014 fiscal year budget of $2.4 million. The county has subsidized garbage pickup in the range of $62,000 to $350,000 annually from Fiscal Year 2003 to 2013.

The rate increase will likely keep supervisors from dipping into the county’s unrestricted reserves to cover solid waste pickup expenses.

“It should be self-sufficient now for the foreseeable future,” Thompson said.

robbie.ward@journalinc.com

  • MidTennDog

    I’m no mathematician but $3.50 to $12.50 seems to be a raise of 357%, not 38.8%

    • Raider

      The rate is increase “by” $3.50 not from $3.50. From $9 to $12.50. .

    • http://djournal.com/ DJournal.com

      We have reworded to provide clarification. Sorry for the confusion.

  • barney fife

    This is the first many Lee County residents will know of their County Supervisors even wanting to increase fees, let alone voting for a substantial increase. Why was the public not informed of their intent to raise fees? Will the County now provide recycling bins with these extra funds?
    It seems the County Supervisors are overstepping their authority.

  • DoubleTalk

    Still cheaper than Tupelo I am told. Maybe this is the beginning of Lee Co and Tupelo working together. Get pricing the same.

  • FedUPwithSlugs

    The board didn’t really have a choice. There are so many deadbeats not paying their bills!

    This is the new America. Deadbeats don’t pay and decent citizens have to pay for them!

    • barney fife

      Why was this kept a secret until now? It is infuriating to have an increase imposed by those who are working FOR us without any discussion.
      I will remember this come election day.

  • barney fife

    Why is the public charged the brunt of the increase? Commercial accounts increase by only 10%?
    Is no one else outraged by this?