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Trash Talk expected at Fiscal Court

The Fiscal Court will conduct a second reading on a proposed garbage ordinance at tonight’s meeting, and will invite public comment concerning the issue. Also expected to be discussed is a proposed 3 percent Restaurant Tax.


The second reading of a proposed ordinance reshaping how garbage is collected in McCreary County is expected to be a hot topic during Thursday night’s meeting of the Fiscal Court.

The ordinance has divided the Fiscal Court, with Magistrates Roger Phillips and O.L. Perry voting against it last month, citing concerns over the prospects of a company submitting a bid based on the reduced rates outlined in the document.

In lieu of a public hearing on the topic, Judge Executive Doug Stephens stated Tuesday he would open the floor to public comment on the ordinance prior to a vote being held.

If the ordinance passes a second reading Thursday night, it will replace the old ordinance on January 1, the date a new contract with a garbage service provider would begin.

The new ordinance does not contain the word “universal” as requested by the McCreary County 109 Board, but does contain stronger penalties and increased enforcement powers, which are intended to ensure all households in the County subscribe to garbage collection.

With the idea that enforcement would prompt 100 percent participation from the population, the costs for individuals and businesses have been reduced to reflect the increased usage of the program.

Single-family and multi-family rates dropped from $15 per month to $10, with an annual cost of $110 with a year paid in advance.

The senior citizen rate was sharply decreased to only $5 per month ($55 annually with a year subscription) at the insistence of Magistrate Jason Mann.

Commercial rates also see a decrease: from $15 a month to $12 a month, but it appears dumpster rates remain the same as currently stand.

The $1 charge per bag for drop off at the Transfer Station has been eliminated from the ordinance, and replaced with a $60 annual fee for drop offs.

The most significant changes from the previous ordinance are in the sections outlining penalties and enforcement of the law.

Fines of $10 per day can be assessed for anyone found to have not complied with the ordinance. Those fines can accumulate up to $500 (in the previous ordinance the upper limit was $300), and the guilty party will also be required to pay all accumulated fees as well.

Enforcement of the ordinance falls not only on “McCreary County and all other law enforcement officers,” as was the language in the old law, but now also includes the McCreary County Solid Waste Coordinator and Emergency Management Director as officers who can assess fines and bring charges.

The last time the garbage issue was brought before the Fiscal Court five years ago it sparked intense debate and controversy over the way they handled the bidding process.

When the garbage service was first opened for bids, three companies submitted proposals, which were all rejected by the Court. The County re-opened the process, but asked the companies to offer proposals using a specific pricing guideline, made up of pricing offered during the original bidding process.

Scott Solid Waste eventually won the contract, but Cardinal Sanitation of Wayne County sued the County over what they deemed to be an unfair and illegal process.

That lawsuit was eventually dismissed after the Court ruled the County ultimately acted properly when asking for proposals.

In other expected actions Thursday night: The Fiscal Court will look at the first reading of a proposed Restaurant Tax, which would add a 3 percent charge to all meals at restaurants, drive thru’s and delis.

Additionally the McCreary County Tourism Board has been interviewing potential candidates for the Part Time Tourism Administrative Assistant position, and may forward a recommendation to the Court for hire.

The Fiscal Court meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

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