SPSA lowers tipping fee

Published 9:23 am Friday, December 10, 2010

CHESAPEAKE—The Southeastern Public Service Authority board voted a decrease in the tipping fees paid by member localities during its Wednesday meeting.

The $5 per ton decrease lowers the regional garbage agency’s tipping fee to $145 and is set to take effect Jan. 1.

“I think that is a good way to tip our hats to our communities,” said Chairman Joseph Leafe, who represents Norfolk on the board.

According to SPSA, the decrease will save the city of Franklin about $9,800 this fiscal year and Isle of Wight County about $45,300.

Southampton County Administrator Mike Johnson said the county would save about $21,000 this fiscal year.

The tipping fees were raised to $170 per ton in 2009, essentially making them the highest in the nation. However, the board voted earlier this year to reduce the fee to $150 per ton, effective July 1, after making strides to pay down the authority’s debt.

When that decrease took effect, Franklin residents saw monthly garbage bills fall nearly $3 a month.

Franklin Mayor Jim Councill said the new reduction would “probably have minimal impact, although it’ll save the city a little bit of money.”

“Anytime we can get a reduction is wonderful,” he said, adding the reduction should signal some improvement in SPSA’s management and expense control, “or they couldn’t give a discount.”

Unlike Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight counties do not assess residences for the purposes of garbage collection. Rather, money in the general fund for both municipalities is used to fund SPSA’s tipping fees.

SPSA serves eight communities in the region, including Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County.

Tracy Agnew, news editor for the Suffolk-News Herald, contributed to this story.