Garbage fee heavily publicized

Published 2:10 pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

There’s no doubt the $200 garbage fee levied for the 2012-13 Southampton County budget will come up during the Board of Supervisors 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, meeting at the County Government Center in Courtland.

Since bills were mailed nearly two weeks ago, the treasurer’s office in Courtland has been slammed with phone calls and visitors. Some didn’t know anything about the fee. Some didn’t know it was too late to file for an exemption. Most of the folks unaware are elderly. They also are probably not readers of The Tidewater News.

Western Tidewater’s thrice-weekly newspaper since May has published more than a dozen articles on the fee in addition to numerous letters to the editor and columns on its editorial pages.

When supervisors proposed the fee to help cover the annual $1.8 million cost of collecting, handling and disposing garbage, the board’s meetings were moved to Southampton High School to accommodate the more than 600 attending with concerns.

So even for those who don’t get The Tidewater News, they should’ve heard about the proposal from friends, family, at church or the grocery store. For a while, it was the talk of the town.

There has been some thought by Newsoms District Supervisor Glenn Updike to waive the Sept. 1 exemption deadline now that the bills are out.

We don’t think that would be a good idea. A change would create more work and confusion for the treasurer’s office. There’s always next year; residents unaware of this year’s deadline can make sure to apply for 2013-14.