No decision proposed increases to trash collection in Surfside Beach

akelley@thesunnews.comNovember 13, 2012 

— Officials in Surfside Beach won’t make a decision on proposed increases to the trash collection services until next year, when the proposed ordinance is brought back to Town Council in January.

Town Council members wanted more information on the changes because there was confusion on what the ordinance said and what is in the existing municipal code on the town’s website.

Public Works Director John Adair said the changes were proposed because the anticipated revenues over the next five years won’t sustain the sanitation enterprise fund which means the vehicles couldn’t be maintained or upgraded.

Since it’s an enterprise fund, it needs to be self-sustaining, and the current rates simply won’t allow that, he said.

The increase would raise standard collection and 6-yard commercial container services fees by 25 percent, while 8-yard commercial container services would jump 35 percent. For the average homeowner, that would mean an additional $3.75 per month. Commercial customers would see a $5.25 or $8.25 monthly increase for the 6-yard or 8-yard containers.

Winter roll out curb service would double to $12 per month per cart.

The trucks have an average lifespan of 10 years. Surfside Beach has six trucks in the fleet, Adair said. New trucks cost approximately $275,000, and the town should require a large truck purchase about every two years, he said.

The rising rates would also allow for increase employee salaries, benefits and operating expenses.

Sanitation rates have not increased in about eight years, though the cost of equipment, manpower, insurance, fuel and other necessary items have, according to the decision paper.

Other changes are detailed in the ordinance including changing the rate of the summer roll-out curb service for rental properties from $20 to $50, but Adair said there’s actually no increase there. The cost is currently $50, and the ordinance contained an error, he said.

Adair said the proposed increases are not related to the cancellation of services to Caropines, a subdivision of about 200 homes behind Wild Water and Wheels on the West side of U.S. 17 – a service that produced about $30,000 profit for the town.

“It probably did have an effect on the overall bottom line,” he said. “But even if the Caropines stayed, the rates would’ve needed to be increased.”

Town Council also did not make any decisions to amend the town’s personnel policy that would limit workplace audio and video recordings.

Initial approval was given to an ordinance amending the parking decals allowing residents and non-residents who own rental properties to have one free decal for a vehicle including a golf cart. Previously the ordinance did not include golf carts, but in discussion at the Oct. 23 Town Council meeting, councilwoman Beth Kohlmann explained some residents only have golf carts.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.

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