County raises transfer station fee $100

Marion County residents will soon be paying more to dump trash.

Beginning next year, residents will be charged $100 per year to use the county transfer station for waste disposal. This is an increase of $19 annually per household, or $1.58 per month, from last year’s fee of $81.

The Marion County Board of Commissioners, at their June 18 meeting, approved the 23 percent increase to the county’s residential transfer station fee.

Revenue generated from the fee increase will be used to pay for a new transfer station building.

The increase is expected to generate close to $95,000 in additional county revenue next year.

The fee increase alone will not be enough to cover the total cost of the estimated $1.4 million project.

Bud Druse, director of the county’s transfer station, said the project would be completed within six months of the bids being received.

All Marion County residents are eligible to use the current transfer station, which is located one-half mile west of the Marion County District Courthouse, for a yearly fee.

The fee increase passed the board of commissioners with a 2-1 vote.

Commissioner Dianne Novak, chair of the board, said the fee is a small price to pay for the useful service.

“It’s a great service as far as bang for your buck,” Novak said.

She said increasing the transfer station fee makes the most financial sense for the county.

“I have no problem raising the fee for the project,” Novak said.

Commissioner Randy Dallke, the longest serving commissioner on the board, said his support for the fee increase came with a stipulation.

“I don’t want to come back next year and add another $5 or more,” Dallke said. “This fee hasn’t changed for as long as I’ve been around.”

Commissioner Kent Becker was the lone commissioner to oppose the fee increase. He said other fees will continue to rise as well, putting a financial burden on residents.

“It gets burdensome to take care of trash,” Becker said.

Becker also noted the fee increase would not pay for the entire project.

“The benefit of raising the fee would be minimal,” Becker said.

The commercial fee structure will remain the same.

Earlier this year, the commissioners decided against a sales tax increase to pay for the project.

County Clerk Tina Spencer advised the board not to move forward on the project without a way to pay for it.

“I don’t want to increase the mill levy,” Novak said.

Other business

In other business, the commissioners:

◼ approved a nearly $3,000 repair to the air conditioner at the county’s Emergency Medical Services building. Ed Debesis, director the county EMS, said the air conditioner has been out for five days and temperatures were reaching upward of 90 degrees in the building.

◼ was informed by Brad Jantz, Marion County’s legal counsel, regarding an agreement between five county police departments to purchase $10,000 video redaction technology.

◼ heard budget presentations from the 8th Judicial District, County Appraiser Lisa Reeder and County Treasurer Jeannine Bate­man.

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