By Amanda Amsel
Franklin Township residents will not be paying more for trash anytime soon, according Eric DeHays of Local Waste Services (LWS).
In an email to the Westside Messenger, DeHays said that the rates to collect trash in the township will stay put in 2015 per the township’s contract with the trash hauler.
“There will be a slight increase in 2016 and 2017,” DeHays said. “However, these increases are provided for in the contract.”
According to township trustee John Fleshman, LWS cannot increase the township rates until the contract expires. Fleshman said the only increases residents would see in that time is a 40 cent to 60 cent increase because of fuel surcharges.
It was reported that trustee Tim Guyton suggested at a previous meeting that rates would dramatically increase if residents did not start paying their bills or participate in the township service. While this could happen when the contract expires, according to DeHays and Fleshman, this would not happen for several years.
“I think what Mr. Guyton was saying is unless more homes pay and participate, the monthly charge will have no choice but to go up in 2018,” DeHays said. “The more homes that you divide the cost into the less each resident will pay for their services. Unfortunately, it will not be fair for the residents who are properly participating to pay for the ones who try and “cheat” the system by setting their waste with paying customers or inside Local Waste dumpsters.”
The township trustees had previously discussed creating legislation that made everyone in the township participate in the service. They also discussed putting liens on properties where the owners are delinquent on their bill.
However, according to DeHays, no action has been taken.
“The township has not moved forward with putting liens on non-paying customers,” DeHays said. “There has not been an increase in participation or more people paying their bills on time.”
According to Fleshman, while he does not advocate residents not paying their bills, he has no intention of putting liens on anyone’s property.
“In my opinion, township trustees are not collection agencies,” he said. “Trustee Guyton wants to put a lien on properties, but I do not think that is what we are here to do. If they want their money they can hire a collection agency or garnish their wages. This is something between Local Waste Services and their customers, not us. Our role is to collectively bargain the best service and rates for the township, not be involved in collection issues.”
According to Guyton, rates could increase from $14 a month to between $20-$25 a month when the contract expires.
“The township needs to require that all homes have trash removal per the contract, as well as the Franklin County Health code which says that every home must have weekly collection of trash,” DeHays said. “Unless the township enforces 100 (percent) pay and participation by force of tax assessment, the problem will continue and the monthly rate will drastically increase.”
Fleshman was still skeptical.
“How can you see that far in the future to say our rates will double,” he said. “We will go somewhere else before we will let our rates double.”
For more information on waste services in Franklin Township, visit www.franklin-township.com.