County commissioners down in the dumps re dumps
By Judith Pannebaker
After Labor Day, county residents will have to pay more for depositing their household trash and bulk items at the four county dumps - don’t call them landfills.
Landfills, it was explained, are an entity all their own and apparently subject to more state scrutiny than solid waste collection stations, the more politically correct name for, well, dumps.
On Thursday, July 24, Bandera County Commissioners approved - by a seemingly reluctant 2-2 vote - an increase in fees after it became plain as the noses on their collective faces, the county’s collection stations had been losing money consistently.
Precinct 1 and Precinct 2 Commissioners Bruce Eliker and Bobby Harris opposed the increase, while Precinct 3 and Precinct 4 Commissioners Richard Keese and Doug King voted in favor of raising fees. Making a command decision, County Judge Richard Evans untied the knot by voting for the increase.
He noted, “I have a problem supplementing the collection stations with tax dollars when some people in the county pay for their own garbage pickup.”
Throughout fiscal year 2007-2008, commissioners approved budget amendments to keep the collection stations running - even as they watched costs, most notably for fuel, skyrocket.
Grappling with the issue, commissioners faced the problem of how much of an increase to impose. Too little and their solid waste collection stations would remain running in the red; too much and they faced the specter of county by-ways littered with non-working television sets and couches with sprung springs.
Finally a compromise was reached and, as of Sept. 1, the following fees will go into affect:
• small bags up to 14 gallons, $1
• large bags from 15 to 32 gallons, $2
• large container from 33 to 55 gallons, $3
• small appliances and furniture, such as televisions, washers and dryers, $20
• large appliances and furniture, such as the aforementioned sofa and refrigerators, $25
• pickup truck and trailer loads of trash, $25 per cubic yard.
In addition, commissioners noted that the collection sites are for the use of Bandera County residents and landowners only.
Commercial contractors may not use the facilities to dispose of construction debris.
Also, residents are reminded no brush, batteries, tires or hazardous material will be accepted.
Locations of solid waste collection stations in each precinct are:
• Pct 1, Pipe Creek - 170 East Pipe Creek Drive; telephone, 830-535-4603
• Pct 2, Lakehills - 151 Ohio Avenue; telephone, 830-751-2146
• Pct 3, Medina - 758 FM 337 East; telephone, 830-522-1302
• Pct 4, Bandera - 3028 Highway 16 North; telephone, 830-796-3609.