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County to raise landfill fees 1.5 percent

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County Commission is considering a recommendation from its public works committee to raise rates at the Dougherty County Landfill by 1.5 percent to keep pace with the Consumer Price Index.

Two of the three committee members -- Ewell Lyle and Jack Stone -- voted Monday morning to recommend the rate increase to the full commission. The third committee member, John Hayes, arrived after the issue was addressed.

If adopted by the full commission, the increase would mean that the current rate for inert material and garbage, $34.25 per ton, would increase to $34.76 per ton, or 51 cents.

While residents of Dougherty County can haul up to 250 pounds of trash per day to the landfill for free, they would have to pay the $34.76 rate if they go over the 250-pound threshold.

While the change doesn't directly impact those who live in the city, those who have a city of Albany garbage bill will see the cost of the increase passed onto them through a 50-cent hike on their bills beginning July 1.

The increase at the landfill was recommended by a study commissioned by the county in March 2010.

"If we have to raise rates, I'd rather see them done in small increments like this rather than a bigger jump," Lyle said.

That "bigger jump," is what the county experienced when it was forced increase the rate it charges the city of Albany by 37 percent between Aug. 1, 2009 and now.

"That's why we're doing the incremental increases," Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy said, "to avoid those situations."