The Saratoga Sun -

Disposal district discusses billing

UPRSWDD talks about minor issues with new billing system


October 14, 2020

The Upper Platte River Solid Waste District board met on October 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm to discuss several matters involving the landfill. The meeting opened and the minutes and bills were quickly approved. This was followed with correspondence from RNB State Bank and the state of Wyoming regarding the need for equal employment posters. 

Site reports were issued with a discussion about the disposal and shipping of cardboard following soon after. It was stated that the landfill is currently receiving around four bales of cardboard each week. 

The landfill remediation report followed. The upcoming plans for seeding and crop cover were noted. Discussions concerning the logistics of seeding, along with the need for the crop cover, continued. It was found that the crop cover would assist in gaining a satisfactory growth, and it was further noted that the cost of the seeding would be less than $30,000. The report continued by mentioning the need for the city waste to be moved to a new pit in the next few years in order to conserve space and resources. 

The central billing report was the next topic of discussion with questions from the audience taking place quickly after. Bill Schroer, a member of the public, questioned the landfill billing practices. He stated that his bill had been raised by nearly 80 percent due to the late payment fee. Ellie Raymer, billing contractor, responded by noting that the bill was high because of a printing error. She stated that any individual who had received this obscenely high bill would have their fees waived, and continued by stating that they had been unable to spread the word about this mistake. A brief discussion was held regarding late billing. A solution to the problem was not reached.

During the later half of the meeting, the board discussed three separate billing issues presented by Ellie Raymer and Karen Bonnell.

The first issue discussed was regarding snowbirds.  The problem presented to the board established that people who left the valley annually were still being charged landfill fees while they were not using the service. The board came to the conclusion that it would be too difficult to continuously remove and add people to the billing list each year. It also may potentially cause issues with the yearly budget. It was noted that the landfill is a utility, similar water bills are charged throughout the year. Josh Wood, board member, presented the idea of a concentrated media blitz to make people aware of why they are being charged throughout the year. Information would be circulated through local news outlets. No motion was made.   

Secondly, the board discussed issues regarding the billing of landlords and tenants. Currently, there are inconsistencies in the billing, varying charges between the tenant or the landlord for use of the landfill. This can result in some tenants leaving town before they pay their landfill bills leaving the responsibility of the landlord. The consensus was that landlords should be charged for landfill fees. The landlords can then collect the fees from the tenants. Moving forward, the board looks to solely bill the property owner. More discussion will take place after the charter is reviewed. 

The final issue regarding billing was arguably the most divisive of the night. Randy Raymer presented his opinion first, stating that service should be denied if bills are past due 60 days or more. He argued that by denying service, there would be more incentive for people to pay.

Board member Sue Jones raised contention to this, stating there may be external factors as to why people were not paying their bills on time. Unclear due dates were discussed as were the previously mentioned tenant-landlords and corporate businesses.

Jones also said that sometimes people pay her, the commercial hauler, directly. It was her contention that she should not lose business as a result of the landfill. Furthermore, Jones believed the responsibility should not be placed on the commercial hauler to deny service.

The board decided to review the people with overdue payments and wait until the next meeting.  

To end the meeting, the board examined the ongoing issue with the Town of Saratoga and the money owed to them by the municipal entity.

A motion was passed giving the town until the next council meeting to determine amount of funds owed. Randy Raymer stated if they were not given an appropriate response in that time, they would go to the next town council meeting and request a representative to attend a landfill board meeting.

The next regular meeting of the Upper Platte River Solid Waste Dispsal District will be at 7:00 p.m. on November 5, 2020 at the Riverside Town Hall.


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