GRANGEVILLE — Idaho County residents asked questions, made suggestions and expressed frustration about proposed solid waste fee increases during a public hearing Aug. 23. The Idaho County Board of Commissioners held the required hearing after proposing a 25% increase to cover the county’s costs for the solid waste management program.
Commissioners Skip Brandt and Denis Duman participated in the hearing, along with county civil attorney Matt Jessup and county clerk Kathy Ackerman. Robert and Sheila Simmons of Simmons Sanitation, the county’s solid waste contractor, helped explain the solid waste issues. Commissioner Ted Lindsley was absent.
“Solid waste is one of the most complicated things we deal with,” Brandt began. “No one produces waste, but we transport a lot of it. They [Simmons] all garbage should be removed.
Duman explained the reasons for the higher costs, including fuel costs, increased tonnage and inflation. “It’s our job to figure out what to do about it,” he said.
“We are at the highest paid workers. level. Our employees are hit with chemicals, concrete, mattresses, coming out of the trash,” commented Robert.
Brandt explained that the purpose of the hearing was to seek comments on the general 25% fee increase. He acknowledged that some people might want to propose structural changes to fees. The county currently charges fees in five categories – city residents, business, part-time, residential and agricultural, according to the notice of public hearing (Free Press, August 10).
“We can talk about it at another time. We always want to hear about what is right. He invited people to register for an agenda item at a future commissioners’ meeting.
“Can’t you get us closer to a landfill?” Pat McLoughlin asked after learning that solid waste is being hauled to Missoula.
Brandt said the county spent five years working with four surrounding counties to try to find a solution. Owners of a potential site in Grangeville scrapped the idea due to NIMBYism (Not-In-My-Backyard), according to Brandt.
“Everyone carries their consumables. We could cut costs ourselves if we took care of that,” said Clear Creek-area Don Haukedahl.
Don Sickels made a similar comment. “Times have changed in the way garbage is handled; we don’t need planks in the dumpsters, which can be burned. »
“How many citations have we issued? Haukedahl asked. “Everyone I’ve spoken to gets a warning,” he added.
Duman said he was aware of a citation, where a citizen watched a contractor unload and reported it. Simmons said, “A lot of concerned citizens are calling us, but they won’t be signing a complaint.”
“As a resident, I’m tired of paying garbage for other people recreating here,” said Don Sickels of the White Bird area. He explained that from April through late fall, floaters and boaters on the Snake and Salmon Rivers fill Idaho County dumpsters with trash and even human waste. Sickels acknowledged that “some of that comes from our slob residents.”
Robert said some people in Adams County and Valley County use the Idaho County dumpsters. He believes the completion of the community landing site near Riggins will help both the problem boaters and residents of nearby counties. Robert’s staff will charge a fee to non-residents.
“Inhabited sites are the rational way to do it,” concluded Brandt.
Don and Myrna DeHaas said they think litter from the city is a problem.
“Seventy-five percent of the garbage comes straight out of this town (Grangeville),” Dehaas said.
Brandt explained that townspeople pay a $31 fee for using county dumpsters and that would also be increased by 25%.
Taina Frank, commenting by email, offered a 12.5% increase instead of 25%.
MaryAnn Blees didn’t think it was fair to charge her a bare lot fee. “You are charging me twice,” she said. “How much do two old people produce? Why not put the extra 25% on residential? »