The Scottsbluff City Council Monday evening repealed an ordinance that went into effect in July setting a $25 per ton fee on incoming tree and yard wast at the city’s compost facility.
Complaints from residents, home owners associations, and lawn care and tree removal services prompted the council to take another look at the measure.
Marty Martinson, representing the Regency Court HOA, told council members they have 24 homes that do not currently have yard waste containers because all of their mowing is done by Mark Lang’s lawn mowing service. “He’s the one you’re charging, but he’ll have to put the fee back on us, obviously,” said Martinson. “Now, do think that $25 is going to pay for 24 yard-waste containers and a truck to empty them each and every week? You’re going to lose money by doing that.”
Lang told the council he provides a cost savings to the city by bringing the grass to the compost facility. Lang said it would take 70 individual containers for the city to pick up from the four HOAs he services.
As there is a charge for yard waste as part of the city’s monthly sanitation bills, the residents also believed it amounted to being charged twice if they choose to utilize a lawn service.
Resident Ben Shaver told the council it’s clearly double taxation and more than just an aggressive way to raise revenue.
Tree Monkeys owner Jonathan Sterkel told council members his company chips most of their tree waste into mulch before taking it to the city’s compost facility.
Sterkel says it’s already processed for them, asking for at least a discount as an incentive for chipping the material so they don’t have to.
The council voted to repeal the fee ordinance and will gather more data to set a rate that will be fair to all parties before a new ordinance setting fees will be considered.