COMMENTARY: Who will take the Fifth?

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The Town of Woodbury and Cannon County are currently at odds over who should be responsible for paying the cost of depositing solid waste for Fifth District residents at a landfill.

Unless the Cannon County Board of Commissioners decide on Saturday to reverse their decision of last month, it is probable the town will sue the county on behalf of the residents of the Fifth District.

The basic facts are as follows:

• The Town of Woodbury collects trash for residents of the Fifth District of Cannon County, who are also residents of the town.

• When the county decided on Sept. 1 to close the transfer station at the Cannon County Convenience Center, it meant the town's garbage trucks had to take the trash collected from Fifth District residents directly to a landfill.

• Fifth District residents, like residents of the county's four other districts, are currently being charged by the county through property taxes to haul solid waste to a landfill and deposit it there.

• That service is among the expenditures listed in the budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year the Cannon County Board of Commissioners passed in August. The line item in the budget lists the amount as $400,000.

• Now that the county is refusing to pay the landfill cost unless Fifth District residents take their trash to the convenience center themselves, those residents who have the town pick up their garbage are paying about $80 each this year to the county for a service they are not receiving.

• In addition to that, those same Fifth District residents will have to pay the Town of Woodbury about $80 more this year if the county continues to refuse to pay for the service.

• Fifth District residents were not informed the county would not pay the landfill costs unless they took their garbage to the convenience center until after the budget was passed.

If you live in the Fifth District you probably don't think it is fair to either pay twice this year for the same service, or radically change the way in which you dispose of your garbage. However, if you live in the county's other four districts, you probably don't have a problem with it -- unless you are among the many who will have to pay extra to a private hauler who can also no longer take garbage to the convenience center.

It will be interesting to see what happens Saturday and depending on the outcome, whether the town will end up suing the county. In the meantime the basic facts are known and you can be the judge.

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Members Opinions:
October 04, 2018 at 1:03pm
Correction...The citizens of the other 4 districts are not paying to have our garbage picked up. We are charged taxes to pay for the convenience center for us to haul our own trash to the convenience center. The city of Woodbury charges the citizens of the 5th District to pick up the garbage and take it to the dump. Something that the citizens of the 5th District could haul themselves to the convenience center with no problem. The city of Woodbury is profiting off of the 5th district, plain and simple! Public haulers is a service like UPS, Uber etc. it's not an entitlement. Our property taxes go towards the operation of the convenience center in order for citizens of Cannon County to have free access to the center.
October 04, 2018 at 1:22pm
There are some residents who live in the other four districts who pay private haulers to pick up their trash. Those private haulers were taking the trash to the transfer station before it was closed. County property taxes are collected from all residents to pay landfill fees. As noted in my commentary that's in the budget and to deny it is simply ignoring the facts. It is not to simply "have free access to the convenience center." The City of Woodbury is the Fifth District. The residents of the Fifth District will now have to pay the Town of Woodbury more to haul their garbage to the landfill. In the meantime, the county will be collecting money from residents of the Fifth District for a service it is denying them. It's a question of fairness and treating everyone right. The residents of the Fifth District were not told their landfill fees would only be paid if they took the garbage to the convenience center when the budget was passed. If they had been they might have asked at that point why they are being taxed for a service they are not receiving.
October 04, 2018 at 1:46pm
Well then maybe the city of Woodbury should offer citizens to opt out of paying for trash pickup (if this is already an option, this whole issue is null and void), and then they won't have to pay for a service they don't receive. They can haul their trash to the convenience center thus allowing them to receive the service they are taxed for. As for the landfill fees, they are covered for every citizen who takes their trash to the convenience center.
October 04, 2018 at 1:53pm
Opting out is certainly an option that should be presented to them. Unfortunately for residents of the Fifth District, the county is not giving them the option of opting out of having their property taxes collected for a service they are being denied. If that were the case there would not be an issue.
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