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Emmetsburg Solid Waste Rates Will Be Going Up

By Staff | Mar 26, 2009

Emmetsburg residents will see an increase in solid waste collection fees over the next few years. The first of those increases could be realized in June.

The council’s Finance, Ordinance and Personnel Committee recommended adopting the rate changes that were compiled by City Administrator John Bird and Public Works Director Bill Dickey. A public hearing on the proposed rate increases will be held April 13 at 7 p.m.

In their report, Bird and Dickey pointed out that the Great Plains Landfill will raise the price per ton of waste by 57.58-percent in four years.

As an example, in January 2008, Emmetsburg was paying $33 per ton and the city expects to pay $52 per ton by January 2012. Bird and Dickey calculated the 2,450 tons per year that Emmetsburg takes to the transfer station, which is currently $80,850 per year and will increase to $127,400.

Rate increases over the next three years should meet the city’s expected expenses.

Currently, Emmetsburg has 1,392 residential customers and 302 scheduled commercial stops each week. Emmetsburg has a discounted rate for seniors.

During the meeting Monday, it was brought to the attention of the City Council that the Palo Alto County Conservation Board and the Palo Alto County Sanitarian are actively trying to increase recycling throughout the county.

In a related issue, the council briefly discussed whether or not Emmetsburg would have Spring Clean-Up Days again this year.

“I heard a lot of good comments when we got it resurrected last year,” said Mayor John Schad.

Bill Dickey told the council that last year there were 139 participants in Clean-Up Days and 64.42 tons of waste was picked up. He noted that the transfer station fee would be close to $2,500 this year if there would be the same amount of waste collected.

Last year, a fee of $10 was charged to have waste picked up during that designated week. Dickey said the fee would need to be increased this year.

He also pointed out that Clean-Up Days were held the second week in May and it worked well because summer part-time employees were able to keep up with mowing city parks while the six city employees spent the week collecting waste.

Dickey said he is also currently planning the dates for Brown Goods Recycling.