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Hearing on Halifax County trash fee slated Tuesday

The new Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to receive public comment on the proposed $48 annual rate for solid waste disposal.

The meeting will be held in room 201 of the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

The county implemented the $4 per month solid waste disposal fee earlier this year, which required the establishment of the authority.

The $48 fee will go into effect for the current fiscal year, but will cover only a portion of the county’s operating expense at the transfer station and for transporting trash to the regional landfill in Mecklenburg County, according to County Administrator Jim Halasz.

“The fee does not cover the cost of refuse pick-up services provided by the towns in the county, nor does it cover the cost of green box and collection center services,” he added.

Following the public hearing, authority board members are expected to adopt the resolution officially implementing the $48 annual trash disposal fee.

The fee will be applied to personal property bills after Oct. 1, although the fee will fund operations from July 1 through June 30, 2013.

Also during the authority’s Tuesday evening meeting, board members will hold a public hearing to receive comment and determine if private provided trash disposal service is available to county residents.

According to Halasz, state code prohibits an authority from collecting and disposing of residential trash until a determination is made that private services are not generally available in the service area.

“While it is a generally held belief such service is not available in Halifax County, state code does require the Solid Waste Disposal Authority Board to satisfy this condition before the authority may begin to operate such a service,” he added.

Following the public hearing, the authority is expected to adopt a resolution that states the authority will not displace any private companies engaged in the provision of refuse collection and disposal.

The board also is expected to adopt an agreement with the county regarding collection and disposal of residential solid waste.

According to Halasz, the agreement provides for the authority to provide services at the transfer station and to transport trash from the transfer station to the regional landfill.

It also provides for the authority to contract with the county to provide these operational services and the authority to pay the county for the services rendered.

In all other cases, the current green box and collection center services will continue to be provided by the county and are not subject to the agreement, he explained.

At last month’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, supervisors created the new separate agency under state code to provide for the disposal of solid waste within the county.

The authority contracts with the county for the actual day to day operations of disposal services including pickup from the convenience sites and green boxes, operation and maintenance of the transfer station and transport of waste to the regional landfill, according to Halasz.

Supervisor Chairman Tom West serves as authority chairman and Supervisor Vice Chairman W. Bryant Claiborne serves as vice chairman of the authority. 

The authority elected the county administrator as executive director, treasurer and secretary of the authority because, according to County Attorney Jeremy Carroll, many documents will need signing.