By David Howell
COFFEEVILLE – The monthly garbage bill for residents in the county will increase from $13 to $15.50 per month starting in April after supervisors tentatively set the new rate in a recessed supervisor meeting last Friday in the Coffeeville courthouse. The new rates will be formally approved following a public hearing on the matter on March 5.
The increase comes after the county solicited proposals for garbage pickup for a new three-year contract period that starts on April 1. Waste Management, the county’s current provider, submitted the lowest bid at $14.51 per can per month, up from the $12.81 the company currently charges. Waste Pro USA Inc. bid $16.89 and Arrow Disposal Service Inc. bid $15.45.
The proposal is also tied to the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the price can increase or decrease each year accordingly.
Supervisors set the new $15.50 monthly rate that the county will charge for the service after consideration of the cost of postage, which is 33 cents per customer each month, plus the likelihood of small increases from Waste Management during the three-year contract due to CPI.
The increase also spawned conversation on the hefty number of delinquent accounts owed to the county for unpaid garbage bills, an amount that has grown to over $300,000 as delinquent accounts remain on the books indefinitely.
State law requires the county to provide curbside garbage pickup but, unlike other utilities, the service cannot be terminated if the bill cannot be paid. This means some customers have bills that accumulate to hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars.