County to raise trash fees at recycling center
Ozark County Commissioners voted Monday to raise the trash fees from $2 per bag to $3 per bag for people bringing bags of garbage to the recycling center on County Road 502 east of Gainesville. The recycling center offers the trash service as an option as an alternative to traditional trash pick up from other area companies.
“It’s been $2 for a long time, probably for more than 15 years,” said Eastern District County Commissioner Gary Collins.
The decision to raise the trash bag fee stems from recent increases in trash companies raising their rates and an influx of people bringing trash to the center.
Commissioners also discussed an issue with people dumping trash by the gate after hours.
“We have cameras up, and we are going to start giving photos of license plates to the sheriff,” said Presiding County Commissioner Terry Newton.
Currently the recycling center is open Mondays through Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Commissioners say they are also working on hiring a part-time employee so the center can be open on Fridays. “That’s when a lot of this trash dumping is happening,” said Layne Nance, Western District Commissioner. “I think if we can hire somebody to work Fridays it would put a stop to a lot of that. Also if deputies started writing tickets for dumping that would stop a lot of it too.”
The county also plans to add an extra dumpster to handle the increase in trash. Currently the county has two dumpsters at the recycling center.
Commissioners said the increased bag fee goes into effect immediately.
Commissioners are continuing to assess conditions of county buildings and property and are looking at maintenance and improvements.
“Obviously the county has several buildings and with buildings comes maintenance. We’re looking at inspecting and assessing everything and setting up schedules for maintenance,” said Newton.
Newton said the county will soon begin quarterly inspections of county buildings and property.
On Monday, commissioners discussed some maintenance projects that are looming, including:
• Re-staining and sealing the gazebo on the courthouse lawn. Newton said that even though the gazebo was built mostly with donations, it is county property, and the county is responsible for its upkeep. Commissioners said they will be getting estimates on staining and resealing the gazebo, including its shake roof.
• The jail and law enforcement building. County Clerk Brian Wise said the county will be allocating several thousand dollars this year for “much needed” maintenance projects at the aging jail building. Among the projects are a new roof, new windows and possibly new lighting.
• The elevator and handicap ramp at the courthouse. Commissioners are still assessing what to do with a crumbling handicap ramp on the west entrance of the courthouse. The ramp is not compliant with Americans with Disabilities Acts guidelines because it is too steep. Commissioners discovered recently that the concrete ramp is crumbling and is in a state of disrepair. Commissioners are weighing the possibility of removing the ramp and making necessary upgrades to the courthouse elevator.
The elevator in the courthouse passed inspection last week during the annual inspection by ATIS Elevator Inspections LLC of St. Louis. Inspectors said the elevator passed inspection, with the only issues being the phone in the elevator isn’t working.
The problem with the elevator is that it is obsolete. Wise said that parts for the elevator cannot be found. “Even if a button goes bad, it can’t be replaced,” Wise said. So while the elevator is currently functioning fine, if something goes wrong the elevator would likely be out of service.
Commissioners are looking into upgrading the elevator and will weigh their options.