Council challenged to give back

PHILIPPI – One resident challenged Philippi City Council this week to include Saturdays as a regular drop-off day if the city is raising garbage and transfer station rates.

Prior to approving on final reading two ordinances that will increase garbage and sewer rates, Council invited members of the public to speak during a public hearing on the ordinances. Some members asked for more information, but one resident, Dean Springer, who is also the director of the Barbour County Economic Development Authority, said that while he isn’t opposed to increasing the rates, he would like to see Council give something back to the community in return.

“The only thing that I have a problem with, with our transfer station, is the day that everybody – or 90-95 percent of the people – have to take stuff to the transfer station is Saturday, when we’re not working,” Springer said. “I think if you’re asking us for a rate increase, you’re asking the people for a rate increase, that you ought to give something back.

“Change a Wednesday and make it a Saturday. Change a Tuesday. Take whatever day has the least collection during the week and not have it on that day, and give us a Saturday. Because that’s when we’re not working. That’s when we hire people to come and help us clean out our garages and do whatever we’re going to do to take stuff to the transfer station.”

Springer said that switching a weekday out for Saturday could become an alternate work day for employees and would prevent overtime. He also said that the proposed Saturday shift could be rotated between city employees.

“It makes sense to give us something you’re asking us the money for,” Springer said.

A 15-day comment period will be scheduled prior to the effectuation of the ordinances. According to previous reports, Philippi Director of Finance Jeremy Drennen said that the garbage and transfer rates have not increased since 2007.

The current minimum transfer station rate is $5.62. That rate would increase by $1.88, making the new minimum $7.50. The commercial packer rate and city packer rates will increase from $76.53 to $100. The container rental fee will increase from $150 to $200.

The residential garbage rate minimum of $19.23 minimum will increase to a $23.75 minimum. The current minimum rates for commercial containers range from $47.30 for a two-yard container to $708 for a six-yard container. Those rates will increase to minimums of $58.30 for a two-yard container and $874 for a six-yard container.

In unrelated business, Council also voted to act as a conduit through which grant money can be obtained for the Philippi Public Library. As a relative of librarian Judy Buckner Larry, Councilman Ed Larry said he had to abstain from voting. The motion passed 4-0, with all other Council members voting in favor.

To help the library get two different grants – one for $2,000 and one for $3,000 – Judy Larry said that she needed Council to accept the funds on behalf of the library. She also said that she is appreciative of the support she receives from her local government because of the potential for state funding cuts to all libraries this year and in future years.

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