Durbin Council increases garbage and maintenance fees

Mayor Donald Peck, left, administers the oath of office to newly appointed councilmember Mike Vance at the Durbin Town Council meeting December 10. S. Stewart photo
Mayor Donald Peck, left, administers the oath of office to newly appointed councilmember Mike Vance at the Durbin Town Council meeting December 10. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

After several work sessions where it reviewed the town’s ordinances, Durbin Town Council made changes to garbage and maintenance fees at its meeting December 10.

The first ordinance council discussed concerned garbage fees.

“What we discussed was raising the garbage [fee] to ten dollars which amounts to a one dollar and fifty cents [increase] per family,” councilmember Danielle Findley said. “Upon passing that, I will generate an educational letter for all the residents to inspire them to recycle and make sure that they’re not throwing away half empty soda bottles and things like that. I want to let them know that what you put in that trash bag has weight and it costs money to throw it away.”

The current garbage fee is $8.50. The residential fee will raise to $10 and commercial fee will be $12.50.

“The increase in the dump fee at the landfill along with gas prices are the reason why we were pursuing the increase,” Findley said. “It would generate about one hundred, twenty dollars and fifty cents a month.”

Mayor Donald Peck said the landfill fee has increased from $57 to $73.

With the increase, Findley explained that the town would no longer lose money when it collects garbage.

“We did some averaging and it’s costing us about one thousand, five hundred, fifty dollars a month for garbage and we’re currently collecting one thousand, four hundred, twenty dollars,” Findley said. “That’s money the town is losing. We can’t continue to do that.”

The maintenance ordinance currently has a $2.75 a month fee. Findley suggested that the fee be increased to $4. With the increase, the town will operate in the green and will actually be ahead at the end of the fiscal year.

Council approved the increase in the garbage and maintenance fees but did not indicate when the increases will be implemented.

In other news:

• Michael Vance was selected to fill the council seat left vacant by Paul Lane. Lane resigned the seat the the November meeting because he moved out of Durbin town limits. Vance was the only applicant for the seat.

• Council approved the first reading of the new curfew ordinance. Findley explained that the ordinance sets a curfew of 10 p.m. for individuals under the age of 18. The curfew will be in affect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day with exceptions for festivities including Durbin Days Heritage Festival.

“I spoke with Sheriff [David] Jonese about enforcing the ordinance,” Findley said. “Upon its passage, he has agreed to meet with us and talk about what the Sheriff’s Department is willing and able to do in helping us enforce it.”

The ordinance explains that if a minor is out after hours, he/she will owe the town a fine of $100. If the same individual is caught a second or third time, the matter will be taken to magistrate court and handled by the court system.

• Council approved to apply through Region 4 for funding for a new sewer line and storm drain project. Region 4 representative John Tuttle met with Mayor Peck and discussed moving forward with the project.
Council also approved to hire a new attorney to assist with the project.

• Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator Judy Fuller asked council for support in asking volunteers to assist with completion of the three Habitat houses in Durbin. AHHH is having volunteer work days and Fuller asked everyone to spread the word and ask their neighbors to come out and help.

The work sessions will be December 19-21 and 26-28.

• Council approved to donate $35 to the Bartow-Frank-Durbin Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

• The town Christmas Lighting Contest will be December 22 with councilmembers judging. The prizes will be: first place, $75; second place, $50; and third place, $25.

Durbin Town Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the town of Durbin office.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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