Carter Landfill Committee votes to raise tipping fees

John Thompson • Jul 6, 2020 at 10:23 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The price of garbage disposal at the Carter County Landfill should be going up in October.

The Landfill Committee of the Carter County Commission voted 5 to 2 to raise the tipping fees and per bag rates by October. Committee members Nancy Brown and Sonja Culler were to only one to vote against the raise, while Mark Blevins, Charles Von Cannon, Gary Bailey, Layla Ward, and David Miller voted in favor of the raise. The committee voted to hold off until October to implement the raise in order for haulers to prepare for the increases.

The committee voted to increase the tipping fee at the Minton Hollow transfer station from $42.50 per ton to $45. The price of per bag disposal at Minton Hollow and at the convenience stations at Roan Mountain and Little Milligan will increase from $1 per bag to $1.25 per bag.

Brown expressed a concern that the rise in tipping frees could encourage people some mountainous areas to avoid the extra costs by illegally dumping household garbage.

Prior to making the decision on raising the rates, the committee heard from Kim Raia, environmental consultant with the University of Tennessee’s County Technical Assistance Service. Raia is responsible for providing advice to the county’s in the eastern half of the state.

Raia said Carter County was unlike most county’s in the state because the landfill operated on the revenue it took in. She said most counties use at least some property tax revenue to assist with operations. Committee Chairwoman Sonja Culler noted that committee member Nancy Brown had said that some of her constituents had complained they did not want the tipping fees to go up because they thought they had already paid for it in their property taxes.

“We need to get the word out that property taxes are not being used in the landfill,” Culler said.

Raia told the committee that since no property tax revenue was being provided to the landfill, it meant that Landfill Director Benny Lyons was operating a very lean operation.

In other matters, the committee reconvened as the Education Committee and had its first discussion with new director of schools Tracy McAbee, who took over on July 1.

McAbee said decisions on school openings are now being worked out.

While the advance of technology has made for many more options in operating schools during a quarantine, but one problem that is currently a roadblock is the lack of broadband Internet in the mountainous regions of the county. McAbee said the school system could supply students with laptops and tablets so they could do their work online, but that would not work if there were no Internet signals.