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Garbage fees could be questioned at committee meetings

Sunday, July 28, 2013 5:50 PM
Last updated 8:18 PM
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Augusta’s embattled trash collection system will be the focus of at least three speakers signed up to address Augusta Commission members Monday.

Homeowners continue to report issues nearly two months after the change, but one speaker is raising a seemingly unrelated issue.

Olde Town homeowner John Olinzock has presented a report about inequities in the city’s billing for garbage service at multifamily properties. In a single block, for instance, four Telfair Street houses are being charged only $116 a year – the charge for a single unit – despite containing two or three residential units, Olinzock noted.

“As a taxpayer, while I am upset that some property owners are not paying the fees per code, more importantly, I am concerned about the lost revenues to the local government,” Olinzock said.

Augusta Disposal owner Bill Polonus and Beaurine Wilkinson are also scheduled to speak about trash collection concerns Monday.

In another solid waste matter, the Engineering Ser­vices committee will receive information about $750,000 in emergency repair work ordered by Engineering Services Director Mark Johnson.

The repairs are needed after a June 24 fire destroyed a landfill gas well and two sinkholes were discovered in a closed area of the landfill, Johnson said.

The Engineering Services committee is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Monday in the eighth-floor commission chamber at 530 Greene St.

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Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 07/28/13 - 09:04 pm
4
0
Pleasant Thoughts

Well, the commissioners are tanned and refreshed after their conference retreats in Texas and Denver. They should be invigorated and informed, thus really ready to dig back into the humdrum of running a large metropolitan area. Do you think they are up to the task?

dichotomy
34367
Points
dichotomy 07/28/13 - 11:15 pm
4
0
I'll believe they are up to

I'll believe they are up to the task when I see an EQUAL TAX, FEE, and PROPERTY VALUATION system for ALL residents of this supposed "city".....AND.....when I see the REVENUES being distributed back to the areas from whence they are collected.

Until then, they are mostly just a bunch of boobs, big timing on the taxpayer's money, taking boondoggle party trips, and not learning a damned thing. And then they come back and start working on their next skybox tickets, kickbacks, and dreaming up more multi-million dollar projects that we cannot afford.

Darby
26888
Points
Darby 07/29/13 - 12:27 am
3
0
"They should be invigorated and informed,

thus really ready to dig back into the humdrum of running a large metropolitan area."

.
That's a joke, right???

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate sardonic wit. It helps to deal with these political loonies.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 07/29/13 - 03:27 am
4
0
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
Unpublished

The commissioners want to put a storm drainage tax on your property tax because of all the rain we have had this year has put a strain on the drains. It is truly amazing that this has come up for consideration, it only took over 100 years to break the rainfall record for Richmond co.
If the local government was spending wisely on city services that is already in our taxes, this problem would not exist. In stead, just keep spending on building new building because some judges don't like their
office and keep spending on things that could be put off and take care of what taxpayers are already paying for. Your record of tax and spend is reckless and Russell needs to move to fla. or somewhere just away from augusta. I think Augusta could end up like Detroit, bankrupt!

nocnoc
44878
Points
nocnoc 07/29/13 - 07:49 am
1
0
Remember the 6 that passed this Ripoff.

But also remember,
ARC Taxpayers sat on their hands and let it happen despite warning after warning.

Now many want Deconsolidation, but who will step up Politically and lead the charge?

nocnoc
44878
Points
nocnoc 07/29/13 - 08:36 am
1
0
Standard fee and % of taxes?

Using ARC GIS, I randomly picked a House on the South Side and 1 Downtown.

Example

19## BOYKIN PL TURPIN HILL area
Total Taxes $472.47
The garbage bill is $310.50
that is 65.7% of $$$$ paid to the Government
Or should I say 65.7% of that houses taxes paid to the a National Garbage collector?

vs.

20## Dunham Ct.
total taxes $362.35
Garbage $310.50
or 85% of the total tax bill?
----------------------------------

BUT, then I decided to check Old Town
According to ARC-GIS, the houses I randomly picked in Old Town
are paying LESS for garbage pickup than many others?

Randomly checking the 200-400 Block of Broad St. and a few side streets I am seeing $107.00 to $115.50 being shown on GIS?
or about 65% less in garbage fees than many others?

WHY?

Maybe the Multi-million dollar GIS system is wrong?

corgimom
34050
Points
corgimom 07/29/13 - 08:28 am
1
0
noc noc, what's your point?

noc noc, what's your point?

That's like saying since the house is worth so little, the electric bill shouldn't be high. Or the water bill.

If the property taxes on it are only $161.97, then I suggest the house is little more than a shack on a lot. The land is probably worth more than the building. But that has nothing to do with the cost of the garbage service.

nocnoc
44878
Points
nocnoc 07/29/13 - 08:37 am
1
0
Apologies I fat fingered the

Apologies
I fat fingered the keyboard and was editing my post,
when you chimed in before I re-posted.

Please note what I have added.

Sorry about that.

nocnoc
44878
Points
nocnoc 07/29/13 - 08:49 am
1
0
I guess where I am headed with this is

Empty houses/lots produce ZERO garbage, but still pay the fee.

Some houses seem to pay 40 to 45% less (according to GIS data).

Some people generate a lot less garbage because of their income which precludes them from purchasing things that cause garbage.

Yet a standard fee has been established and it seems that standard fee is not being implemented completely yet, for some reason or mistake?

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 07/29/13 - 08:56 am
2
0
Empty Houses

You would think if the house is sitting empty you could have the garbage fee removed until the house is occupied again.

But then, in Augusta plenty of people vote from empty houses, so maybe the garbage fee is appropriate.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/29/13 - 09:17 am
2
0
TRAINING COMPLETE

Only a few years ago, many of us had to haul our garbage to the landfill and dump it ourselves for free. Now, for $315 a year and about $100 worth of Glad & Lawn bags, we are privileged to gift-wrap our waste and present it as a weekly offering to the awesome Galleon of Garbage.

As we near the completion of our training, I don't miss the R.S.V.P. rat killings nearly as much as I thought I would. I just miss the loving.

corgimom
34050
Points
corgimom 07/29/13 - 09:53 am
0
0
Property owners are taxed and

Property owners are taxed and assessed for all sorts of things they don't necessarily use.

They are taxed for schools, TEE Centers, roads they will never drive on, parks they will never go to, cemeteries that they never use, hospitals that they will never go to.
.

When you are dealing with a large group of people, there is no "fair" way to charge for something that everyone will agree with. At some point, you have to just decide on a system and go with it.

Trash collection is part of quality of life issues. Everyone benefits from trash collection, the municipality benefits as a whole. It's a public health and safety issue.

If you've ever lived next to, or known a junk collector, you will know what I mean. If you've ever lived next to someone who doesn't take their trash regularly to the dump, you will know what I mean, too.

If you don't charge for trash service on an empty lot, then you should exempt the owner from property taxes, too. Then the people that are actually living there could pay more for services.

I don't think people really want that.

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 07/29/13 - 10:16 am
0
0
Fee

Though the garbage is a line item on property tax bills, it is plainly listed as a fee. You shouldn't have to pay the fee if you don't use the service. Of course, Fred (What, me worry?) Russell is calling the proposed stormwater (i.e. rain) tax a fee also, just to get around the rigamarole you have to do to enact a new tax. I guess since the rain falls on the unjust as well as the just, we'll all have to pay it.

If it gets too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you drive your car, I'll tax the street
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

nocnoc
44878
Points
nocnoc 07/29/13 - 10:39 am
0
0
FEE means service

If no service is being rendered and why the fee?
Empty houses and vacant lots don't require the same level of service, But are still being charged the same fee. WHY?

Like being charged for a drink just because I walked in to the bar.

Either way I started checking various GIS 2012 billing statements and I see the $310.50 is common in Goshen, Cypress point, Covington, Pepperidge and other areas and subdivisions on the South Side.

While doing a random check of a number of Old Town houses and what they are paying. I noted those that I checked were almost 2/3's LESS. Yes the LOW 10#'s, than those on the South Side paying $310.50.

Is this the South Side paying for downtown services again?
Or what?

I'll check the West side if needed also.

Sweet son
10729
Points
Sweet son 07/29/13 - 01:09 pm
0
0
Years ago.........

a private trash hauler had a neat slogan on the side of his trucks: "Satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back!" Not even funny is it? But I did get your attention! :)

You've got to be old South side Augusta to remember that. Right Seenit!

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 07/29/13 - 06:09 pm
0
0
Tension Mounting

Can't you just feel the tension — it's getting more intense by the moment! This committee meeting started at 1:00 p.m. and now it's past six. Reporter Susan McCord surely has pages of notes and maybe a video clip or two. Perhaps she's taking a well-deserved supper break at this time; but at any moment she will post the thrilling story of this garbage commission committee meeting.

We're waiting with our breaths held in anticipation (or is it breaths held to minimize the stench?).

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