Vote on landfill charges postponed other ways to increase revenue suggested

April 15, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County commissioners postponed yesterday a vote on whether to increase the fee for dumping in landfills, after the county comptroller suggested a way to bring in more cash.

Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman said the county should start weighing pickup trucks and multipurpose vehicles that bring trash to the landfills instead of charging a flat fee.

"We see pickup trucks with bumpers practically dragging on the ground," Mr. Curfman said.

The three commissioners asked Mr. Curfman and other staff members to try to determine how much money could be raised by weighing pickups and multipurpose vehicles.

Currently, only pickups classified as three-quarter-ton or more are weighed, Mr. Curfman said. Smaller pickups are charged $6. Pickups with side rails that allow more storage height in the truck bed are charged $8. Cars are charged $4. Larger trucks are weighed and charged $40 per ton.

Mr. Curfman said he could not estimate yesterday how much money weighing all pickups would raise. He said 250 to 350 cars and pickups go to Northern Landfill on a typical Saturday and about 50 go to Hoods Mill Landfill.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell also asked staff members to try to determine how much could be raised by charging for yard waste that is mulched at the landfills.

Mr. Dell had hoped to vote yesterday on whether to raise the tipping fee to $53 a ton. He and Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy had postponed a vote Tuesday because Commissioner Julia W. Gouge was ill.

Mr. Dell asked for a motion yesterday on whether to increase the fee, but Mrs. Gouge said she wasn't ready to vote.

Mrs. Gouge said she had questions about the scheduled closing of Hoods Mill this summer. She said she would be ready to vote on the proposed fee increase early next week.

Mr. Lippy said he had no objection to postponing the vote.

He has joked about raising the tipping fee or any fee in an election year. All three commissioner seats are up for grabs.

Mr. Curfman recommended in April 1993 that the commissioners raise the tipping fee to $53 a ton, but they delayed a decision.

He said new "generally accepted accounting standards" that take effect this year require that the county charge a tipping fee high enough to help pay for future costs.

Public Works Director Keith R. Kirschnick said charging for yard waste would raise some money, but not enough to cover the costs of opening new cells at Northern Landfill.

Budget Director Steven D. Powell said it is important to follow the new accounting standards so that the county's favorable bond rating can be maintained.

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