Time to resolve delinquent garbage fees

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Adams County residents are more than $2.6 million behind in paying their garbage fees.

The problem has been building for decades, county officials said, ever since the 1980s when the state mandated that counties provide garbage collection services for residents.

Last year, officials said more than 20 Adams County residents owed $4,000 or more in delinquent payments.

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The monthly garbage collection fee per household since 2016 is $15 per month or $168 per year if paid in advance.

State law, requires the county to collect the garbage from all occupied residences even when fees have not been paid.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors has tried several remedies over the years.

Last year the board of supervisors directed board attorney Scott Slover to begin legal proceedings against individuals who had not yet paid their fees.

Apparently, that effort is not working.

Now, county officials are talking about possibly tacking the garbage fees on to millage rates.

That idea has been floated in the past but seems large landowners complained it would be punitive to them and that they would be paying a disproportionate fee for their garbage collection service.

It is past time for the Adams County Board of Supervisors to take decisive and effective action on the delinquent garbage fees.

Perhaps it is time to revisit the idea of tacking the garbage fees on to the millage rate. If not that, then some other alternative needs to be considered.

After all, it is not fair to the law-abiding, taxpaying citizens who are paying their bills to let so many freeloaders go so long without any remedy.