Becker County raises solid waste fees for nearly everybody
Citizens of Becker County can expect to pay a solid increase in solid waste taxes. The Becker County Board of Commissioners voted last week to increase the public's solid waste disposal fee from $25 to $40 a year per residential dwelling. That me...
Citizens of Becker County can expect to pay a solid increase in solid waste taxes.
The Becker County Board of Commissioners voted last week to increase the public’s solid waste disposal fee from $25 to $40 a year per residential dwelling. That means if there are two houses on a piece of property, that charge will be $80 a year.
The increase, Environmental Services Director Steve Skoog said to commissioners in a memo, is to cover the “increased disposal rates at the Perham Resources Recovery Facility and anticipating future increased hauling costs and increased anticipated increased transfer station operating costs.”
Commercial and industrial properties will be assessed based on the volume of waste generated, or $50, whichever is greater. Hotels and motels will be assessed $5 per unit plus a volume base charge.
Seasonal resorts will be assessed $20 per travel trailer hookup or cabin, or on the volume produced, whichever is greater.
Exemptions include governmental entities like townships, cities, county and state. School districts will be assessed based on volume or $50, whichever is greater. That same guideline goes for public utilities and public charities.
Commissioner Ben Grimsley said he would rather see recycling and hazardous waste fees than solid waste fees.
“This fee increase is going to be unpopular,” he said. “It already is.”
He said he’d like to see what the numbers would work out to with recycling and hazardous fees and if tipping fees were increased. Tipping fees are when appliances, brush, electronics, florescent lightbulbs, mattresses, etc. are brought to the landfill.
Commissioner Larry Knutson disagreed and said that the commission knew all along that fees would increase when the county voted to partner with Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority in Perham for disposal. He said that he of all people doesn’t like raising fees, but they all knew this was coming, too.
Past fees have been built up in the environmental services department’s reserves to help build the new facility at the landfill. By doing that over a period of time, Commissioner Barry Nelson said, the county shouldn’t have to raise taxes to pay for the new facility.
He said that regardless of where the taxes are placed, at the end of the day, funds need to be raised to get rid of the solid waste.
Grimsley voted opposed to the motion to raise solid waste fees, while the other four commissioners voted in favor, passing the motion.