(Dothan, AL)—On Tuesday Dothan City Commissioners will vote on a garbage fee that will help pay for a new landfill, recycling program and five automated garbage trucks.
However, those who attended an open forum at Covenant United Methodist Church Monday night question if officials have exhausted all other options.
“We are running out of space at our current landfill, we have looked at all other options and found that buying land to expand our current waste site is the cheapest way to go,” Dothan City Manager Mike West said. “In the past, we have covered garbage under our utility fees, however we can’t afford to do that any longer,” He said.
The new $14.75 monthly garbage fee will help offset some of the revenue the city loses each year. Even with the new monthly collection, the city will still lose more than 1.7 million dollars each year. City Commissioners are against raising the rate any higher because they believe it would be too expensive for Dothan residents.
“We won’t raise the rate, we could raise it to help meet our loss of revenue but we feel this is the proper amount,” Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz said.
Many people argue the city should turn to greener options like creating a mandatory recycling ordinance, turning trash into cash or extra revenue. However officials also argue that implementing such a plan wouldn’t work in Dothan at this time.
“We could look at doing that over the next two years, but setting it in stone right now would be too hard for many people to swallow,” City Commissioner District 5 Taylor Barbaree said.
Mayor Schmitz says he understands the city will continue to grow tremendously over the next decade and hopes to implement a successful recycling program eventually.