Supervisors Talk Trash

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The collection and disposal of solid waste now costs Lauderdale County over $1.5 million per year. District 1 supervisor Eddie Harper said if something isn't done and soon, Lauderdale County residents could be facing a tax increase.

"The fact that we went over budget last year $250,000, we've increased the budget for this year by about $145,000, and if we don't get a hold on the spending, if we don't do something about it, it's just going to keep growing every year," said Harper. "And it's going to wind up causing a tax increase every time the budget comes around if we don't get a hold on it."

Harper said he wants to bring in outside consultants at a cost of $20,000 to look at the problem.

"They will study the whole process, anywhere from keeping the green boxes to partial door to door pickup to entire door to door pickup," Harper said.

Nearby counties such as Choctaw, Greene and Sumter have door to door at costs ranging from $12 per month to $15 per month. Clarke County charges $36 per year but adds a 3.48 mill tax to help defray the cost. Kemper County charges $8 per month for door to door.

County engineer Neal Carson said Lauderdale County's $60 per year millage fee isn't enough here.

"Our fee doesn't generate nearly enough money, along with the millage that we have imposed to cover the entire operation of our sanitation operation," Carson said. "We have 400 green boxes around at 100 different locations so anytime you go door to door and offer that service then you're going to have to provide the container to put the garbage in. It'll be more expensive."

Harper said the consultant suggestion is part of properly managing the county's budget. The debate over how to collect and what to charge for garbage collection has been a long-running question in Lauderdale County.