At a recent special called meeting, Harlan County Solid Waste Supervisor Lakis Mavinidis told members of the Harlan Fiscal Court the cleanup trailer service provided free of charge to residents is costing the county approximately $280,000 a year. He proposed a $35 fee per household for future use in order to save the county money in their 2013-2014 budget.
“As everyone knows for the past several years the county has provided a service to anyone who wishes to order a trailer or other container to put their unwanted items in at their residence and have it hauled away by county employees,” said Mavinidis. “This is a great expense to the county. There is the truck to pull the container with a driver who takes it to the residence and then returns and pulls it in. Then the items must go to the transfer station or landfill for disposal, which costs $47 per ton plus labor.”
Mavinidis said there is a long waiting list for the trailers and some residents are willing to pay a fee to move ahead on the list.
“Considering the budget situation, I’m willing to try charging every resident $35 per household for the use of these trailers,” said Mavinidis. “This will have to be paid in advance. Residents will be given a list of what can be placed in the trailer. This will bring in approximately $40,000 per year for the county based on the number of trailers which have been used in the past.”
Mavinidis added clean-ups are important to the residents and a important factor in keeping the county clean.
Questioning who will be responsible for scheduling the trailers and accepting the money, Magistrate Bill Moore said “he does not want the responsibility of handling money for the trailers.”
After a lengthy discussion, a motion was approved to begin charging $35 per household, to be paid in advance, for the use of the clean-up trailers effective July 1 subject to the collection process. Magistrate Jim Roddy was the only one opposing the motion. Harlan County Road Supervisor Marvin Goins recommended Mavinidis and Johnny Skidmore, administrative assistance to the road department supervisor, be bonded to accept checks and money orders. He noted if cash is paid it will have to be paid to the Harlan County Treasurer’s office.
“I think we need to bid out these trailers and get out of the trailer business completely,” said Magistrate David Kennedy. “Let a private contractor run it like a business where a resident can pick the phone up and say I need a trailer and deal with a business rather than county government. We’ll revisit this issue at our next meeting because in the past the county has had a terrible problem of collecting garbage fees.”
Mavinidis noted anyone who wishes to load their own trucks with unwanted items may bring the items to the recycling center free of charge.
In other court action, Harlan County Rescue Squad Capt. Chris Allen and member Henry Shackleford appeared before the Harlan Fiscal Court where Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop told them even though they are a separate entity from the county, the county’s insurance carrier, KaCo, will now cover the squad’s north Evarts rescue station at the RV campground.
“The insurance company said this building can only be used to store the rescue equipment, nothing else — it will not be covered — just the squad’s equipment,” said Grieshop. “This is a building built with a grant obtained by Preston McLain and for the purpose of safety. It’s sitting on county property.”
Moore said Evarts Mayor Eddie Manning told him the building was valued between $6,000 to $8,000.
The court approved providing liability insurance on the building and contents being used for the Harlan County Rescue Squad.
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