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Lawrence approves raising rates for garbage pickup

By Kristen Bishop 340-2443

MOULTON — Lawrence County residents will notice a $1.86 increase on their March or April utility bills.

The Lawrence County Commission on Monday approved a garbage rate increase based on a bid from Waste Management. Though it was the lowest of the two bids the county received, it was about $1 more than the county is currently paying Waste Management.

Last year, the county paid $6.71 per household for weekly garbage pickup. Homeowners paid Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corp., which handles billing for county utilities, $8.14.

This year's bid from Waste Management was for $7.65 per household. The commission raised customer fees to $10 per month.

Joe Wheeler charges the county an additional 65 cents for billing services, which accounts for a portion of the added cost to customers.

The other increase is for a fuel surcharge from Waste Management. The surcharge is based on a percentage of the cost of fuel in this region. The percentage changes weekly and can range from 0.5 to 13 percent.

County Administrator Linda Harville said commissioners based the rate on a median percentage.

"We won't be ahead any," said Harville. "The county is not making any money off this."

The commission approved the rate increase but forgot to formally accept the bid from Waste Management.

"I realized after the meeting that they did not award the bid," said Harville. "However, they set the rate for customers that would be based on the Waste Management bid. This was just an oversight."

Harville said commissioners may have to call a special meeting to award the bid. The current Waste Management contract expires in March.

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