Court delays Boykins trash fee ruling

Published 9:26 am Saturday, June 20, 2009

BOYKINS—A ruling on the town’s mandatory trash collection fee has been postponed for another week.

According to Southampton County General District Court records, the dispute between the Town of Boykins and several town residents, including the vice mayor, has been continued until 1:05 p.m. Friday.

The debate over the fee reached the courtroom of Judge Warren Parker Councill on June 12. Afterward the judge said he would issue a written ruling on the matter within seven days.

Belinda Jones, the clerk for the general district court, confirmed Friday that the matter had been postponed for another week. She said there was no reason given for the delay.

Jones added that she was in the process of mailing letters to the four defendants involved in the case, including Boykins Vice Mayor Linda Beatty, telling them that a decision would be forthcoming from Councill on June 26.

“I believe that the judge will be fair in rendering a decision,” Mayor Spier Edwards said Friday.

Boykins took 12 people to court for refusing to pay the fee, which is $4.50 per month or $50 per year. According to town records, each person has not paid the fee for the last 21 months and owes $94.50. Collectively they owe the town $1,134.

The town charged a trash collection fee for several years, but the town council voted 3-2 on July 17, 2007, to make it mandatory. Beatty was one of the dissenting votes.

Councill issued judgments on May 29 in favor of Boykins in four of the 12 cases brought to the court.

The judge ordered the defendants in the four cases to pay the $94.50 they owe, plus an additional 6 percent in interest. The court is still looking to serve two defendants.

Boykins picks up trash and yard waste twice a week. Trash is collected on Mondays and Fridays, while yard waste is picked up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.