County board to work out loss of city garbage


LAURINBURG —Scotland County commissioners will talk about the impact a recent decision by the Laurinburg City Council to take its municipal solid waste to a Robeson County landfill instead of using the county service.

The commissioners will meet Monday at 7 p.m. at the A.B. Gibson building.

Earlier this month, the Laurinburg City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Robeson County. Laurinburg. City Manager Charles Nichols III said the city will take its municipal solid waste — residential and business garbage — to Robeson County’s landfill in St. Pauls rather than taking it to Scotland County’s transfer station.

The city pays currently Scotland County $55.75 per ton to handle its municipal solid waste and $31.50 per ton to handle its yard waste, such as tree limbs and other outdoor debris.

Although Robeson County had originally said it would charge $38.50 per ton for solid waste, the negotiated price was $36.50 per ton, Nichols said.

The city will save more than $138,000 annually by taking its garbage to St. Pauls, Nichols said. The city did not enter an agreement with Robeson County for yard debris and limbs, Nichols said.

The $138,000 in savings includes the extra costs the city will incur in gas and vehicle maintenance by driving its garbage trucks to the landfill.

The county will adjust to the decreased demand for MSW disposal, according to County Patterson Kevin Patterson.

“With the city pulling out, it will cause us to have a reduction in revenues, Patterson said. “Basically, we’ll go in, look at our operations and find ways to streamline it.”

Patterson said the county will try to work with city staff to let them facilitate Laurinburg’s own leaf and limb disposal program.

Also on Monday, the county board will consider appointments to boards and commissions. Several appointments were tabled last month to give applicants time to put their requests in writing to the board, asking either to be appointed or reappointed, according to County Manager Kevin Patterson. Possible appointments include:

Historic Properties Commission; Parks and Recreation Advisory Board;Laurinburg/Scotland County Drug and Crime Committee; Southeastern Family and Community Services; Aging Advisory Council; Laurinburg/Scotland County Planning and Zoning Board; Laurinburg/Scotland County Zoning Board of Adjustment; Scotland County Adult Day Care Home Community Advisory Committee; Scotland County Nursing Home Advisory Committee; Tourism Development Authority; Maxton/Scotland County Board of Adjustment and Appeals; Maxton/Scotland County Planning Board; Scotland County Zoning Board of Adjustment; Scotland Memorial Library Advisory Board, Southeastern Community and Family Services, and Wagram/Scotland County Zoning Board of Adjustment.

In other business, Patterson will address a request by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners to develop a list of requests to state lawmakers. It is the lobbying arm of county commissioners in North Carolina.

“This is to make sure we get the greatest flexibility to meet as many of the local needs as possible,” Patterson said.

For example, changes in the homestead exemption law are often a cause for concern to commissioners, Patterson said, because they have a direct effect on senior citizens, how much property taxes they pay, and how much taxes the county receives.

Homestead exemption gives homeowners over the age of 65 and those who are disabled a tax break on the property at which they reside.

“What we’re looking for is, if the state is going to go in and change something like that — change something that affects revenue — we really hope that they will go to the association, get the counties involved,” Patterson said.

More discussions about what the county commissioners want to lobby for will likely take place in September, Patterson said.

In other business, the commissioners will mark the birthday of the Scotland County Memorial Library with a proclamation recognizing 75 years of service to the community.

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By Terri Ferguson Smith

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Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-506-3169.

 

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