Lincoln considers setting trash fees for businesses, commercial haulers

Lincoln residents dispose of trash in this December 2013 file photo. The Town Council will consider in March charging commercial haulers $51 per ton for waste taken to the transfer station as part of a plan to offset expected waste-disposal-fee increases.
Lincoln residents dispose of trash in this December 2013 file photo. The Town Council will consider in March charging commercial haulers $51 per ton for waste taken to the transfer station as part of a plan to offset expected waste-disposal-fee increases. Buy Photo
Posted Feb. 11, 2014, at 3:10 p.m.

LINCOLN, Maine — Town leaders will consider next month charging commercial haulers $51 per ton for waste taken to the transfer station as part of a plan to offset expected waste-disposal-fee increases, officials said Tuesday.

The Town Council tabled a proposal during a meeting on Monday to charge town businesses $40 per year to haul waste to the station at the northwest end of Park Avenue after Councilor Curt Ring Jr. suggested discussing the $51 per ton fee, Chairman Steve Clay said.

Clay said he saw merit in Ring’s proposal, although the board has not ruled out either option and could do both.

“I truly believe the $51 per ton fee is going to make the biggest difference,” he said.

Town businesses would be defined as any entrepreneur, firm or commercial entity that generates accepted solid waste during the station’s hours of operation. Commercial trash haulers, according to the proposed ordinance, would be defined as a person, firm or corporate entity that generates revenue through the collection, hauling or recycling of trash or recyclables.

Since November, councilors have been mulling increased trash fees and approved in December a new $20 annual fee for residents by a 6-1 vote. Councilor Dede Trask opposed. The $20 fee went into effect Jan. 1. Under the previous system, residents and businesses got a single free pass. The town charged $1 for each additional pass, Town Clerk Shelly Crosby has said.

The $40 and $51 fees would be new. All the fee increases are intended to cover rising management and trash disposal costs. The Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. charged $250,573 to accept Lincoln’s waste last year, town Treasurer Melissa Quintela has said.

The transfer station’s total budget was $465,692, about $38,284 over expenses, Quintela said.

The town budgeted $503,381 for the transfer station this year, including $318,160 in PERC tipping fees, to stay in line with rising disposal costs that PERC officials told Town Manager William Lawrence during a recent meeting would double by 2018, Quintela said.

Councilors are also concerned about the need to generate more revenue for town government, Clay said. Initial word out of Augusta is to expect a cut in state revenue-sharing with municipalities, and town government has already set a goal of cutting next year’s budget, which would go into effect July 1, by as much as 15 percent.

A commercial hauler moving 1,000 to 1,300 tons of trash annually would generate $66,000 to $68,000 in revenue for the town annually, Clay said.

The one commercial trash hauling business listed in Lincoln, Ireland’s Rubbish Service, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on Tuesday.

The council is due to meet next on March 11.

 

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