Benton County Solid Waste District looks to increase fees that have remained unchanged in 17 years

CENTERTON — Benton County and its cities may be paying more for solid waste disposal and recycling programs.

The Benton County Solid Waste District’s board on Thursday approved doubling the per capita fee the district charges to the county and the cities. If approved by the member entities, the rate would increase from 50 cents per capita to $1 per capita.

The district receives financial support based on population from Benton County, Bella Vista, Bentonville, Cave Springs, Centerton, Gentry, Gravette, Little Flock, Lowell, Pea Ridge, Rogers, Siloam Springs and from Springdale for the portion of that city in Benton County. The county and the cities have participated in an interlocal agreement with the district establishing the fees.

Under the new fee structure, Benton County would pay $53,715, Bella Vista would pay $30,104, Bentonville would pay $54,164, Cave Springs would pay $5,495, Centerton would pay $17,792, Gentry would pay $3,790, Gravette would pay $3,547, Little Flock would pay $3,055, Lowell would pay $9,839, Pea Ridge would pay $6,669, Rogers would pay $69,908, Siloam Springs would pay $17,286 and Springdale would pay $9,078.

The fees are based on the 2020 census figures, with the county population including the unincorporated areas and cities of less than 2,000 people, according to the district.

The fees had been set at 50 cents per capita for the last 17 years.

Under Arkansas law, the district is mandated to provide at least a minimum level of collection programs for specified material including household hazardous waste, electronic waste, metal, tires and other recyclable material.

According to the resolution increasing the fees, the services the district is providing “exceeds the minimum requirements for collection of these materials through operation of special programs. The district’s projected revenue beginning in 2023 is insufficient to continue the extended collection hours and the remote collection sites.

The district’s projected revenue beginning in 2023 is insufficient to continue the extended collection hours and the remote collection sites, the resolution says.

Pea Ridge Mayor Jackie Crabtree, chairman of the district’s board, said the new agreement will need to go to the county and each of the cities for legal review and then be submitted to the governing bodies. Several of the mayors who attended Thursday’s meeting said they already included the increases in their proposed 2023 budgets.

County Judge Barry Moehring said the once the agreement is reviewed he will send it to the Quorum Court.

“I’m confident that our Quorum Court will support this,” Moehring said.

 

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