How Dothan May Help Certain Citizens Pay for Trash Removal

By: Katrice Nolan Email
By: Katrice Nolan Email

The proposal of the garbage fee to expand a current landfill has not come without opposition. Many expressed the concern for those who are on a fixed income and cannot afford that fee. Now an exemption is in the works.

Fourteen dollars and seventy five cents a month per household.
That's how much Dothan city commissioners want you to pay for trash removal in order to expand the Dothan landfill.

"The real issue here is that we are running out of landfill space. We have to develop a new landfill site," says Dothan City Manager Mike West.

A site that will cost nearly $10 million dollars.

For some, the fee may not be much, but for those on a fixed income, the story is different.

"We have an exemption for them. If you are on a fixed income, if you're a senior citizen, or you are only on social security, you're exempt from this fee," says Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.

"I understand the reluctance of some people and the concern about an additional fee a month," says West.

In addition to expanding the landfill the fee will cover the city's efforts to encourage residents to go green by expanding the recycling program and replacing five automated garbage trucks.

"We have a number of garbage trucks that were bought all at the same time; automated garbage trucks, they are reaching the end of their useful life. They're $230,000 dollars a piece," explains West.

The amount of $14.75 is the proposal that's on the table right now, but West says it's money that won't be thrown away.

"The bottom line at the end of the day is, it either comes from something else; there will be reductions somewhere, something won't get done," says West.

"Obviously we are expanding our landfill, and it's something we need to do," says Schmitz.

If the proposed fee is passed you can expect to start paying the $14.75 fee March 1st of next year.

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