Hike to 75 cents solves budget problem
Union County will keep all landfills open beyond September. County commissioners made that announcement during their Monday, Sept. 19 meeting, approving a price increase to 75 cents per bag which solved the department’s financial shortfall, staff members said.
“Staff determined that 75 cents per bag would eliminate the fund deficit,” County Manager Cindy Coto told commissioners. “This analysis assumes the fee is in place for an entire 12-month period and that we have no change (in the amount of trash deposited).”
The only exception is for 13-gallon bags, which will remain at 25 cents each.
Last year, the county lost $443,000 at the dropoff sites. Earlier this year, commissioners approved plans to shut down the Sun Valley site, 1407 Wesley Chapel Road, and transfer operational costs for the New Salem facility, 7910 N.C. 218, to the towns of Unionville and New Salem.
With the increase in price, the county no longer faces a shortfall and so all the facilities will remain open. Coto said since the county no longer needs the funds from Unionville and New Salem, staff would discuss an option where the two towns would help make up any future shortfall.
“With this fee change, we’ll be able to continue operating,” county commissioner Todd Johnson said. “I’ve received multiple emails, calls and concerns on this. We will be able to continue providing services to our citizens.”
The only question comes from the fact the staff analysis is based on no change in the number of residents who use the facilities. However the town of Indian Trail entered into a contract recently with Waste Pro USA to provide garbage services and a landfill facility at 3901 Gribble Road. Those Indian Trail residents who used the Sun Valley facility can now drop bags off for free at Gribble Road, as long as they provide identification proving they live in town. That change could affect county revenue.
“These sites are important,” county commissioner Jonathan Thomas said. “I consider it a privilege to pay the increased fee. It eliminates a subsidy we had in place to keep those (facilities) up.”