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Garbage fee heavily publicized

Published 2:10pm 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.

  • foxtrotter56

    Let’s see, it appears the TN is more concerned for the “more work and confusion for the treasurers” office than they are for the citizens having to pay the $200 which also these same citizens pay the “treasurers” office salaries.

    Well here’s one for you, maybe the Tidewater News could give everybody “free” papers for a year so that all Southampton citizens can read in the paper any changes/deletions in policies mandated by the county and that would take the extra work and confusion off the treasurers office!

    Suggest Removal

  • Nemo1

    Well, we can only imagine who may be pushing their political views behind the “staff reporters” shield.

    It is a waste of county man hours and county money to publish in the Tidewater News or in the Western Tidewater magazine. Why you might ask? Not everyone receives or reads the Tidewater News. Should the county have taken into consideration how many people in would actual reach?? Maybe so!!! A simple letter to every household in the county would have covered it just fine!! At least with a simple letter it would have covered more people than publishing a notice in something that only 50% of the people in this area reads.

    If the BOS handled this situation properly mailing out a letter would not have costed anything more than they have already spent. You ask why is say that? Well its quite simple again. If they had included the “trash fee” bill with the other tax bills and saved that stamp for the explaination letter.

    Suggest Removal

  • RACN35

    AT THE BARE MINIMUM ;;; ALLOW THE PERSON WITH THE EXEMPTION BRING PROOF BY DEC 5TH WHEN THE BILL IS DUE.

    INSTEAD OF A $200 CHECK , JUST “PAY” WITH THE EXEMPTION PAPERWORK….

    ITS AS EASY AS A KEYSTROKE ON THE COMPUTER MARKED “PAID”

    Suggest Removal

  • Curiousreader

    Why not extend the deadline? Seems someone put the cart before the horse here. So make the tax due Jan 31, 2013 and exemption deadline Dec 15th The county ought to have the power to change those two dates for this year and then get it back on schedule next year. They could publish this change in the TN. I bet it would be seen now! No it is not fair to assume everyone read this in the paper. I knew about it, but after Thanksgiving dinner it seems many residents did not. The lines of communication need to be reviewed for sure!

    Suggest Removal

  • Juanita

    Something that is as important as a $200 (additional) garbage fee should not of been advertised in the newspaper only. It is not up to the citizens to find out on their own (what has changed), it is the responsibility of our Government to keep us informed. Notice should have been mailed to every household. Not every household reads the paper.

    Suggest Removal

  • ivorcp

    Let me see if I understand what you’re saying…For those who would have been exempt if they knew they could, YOU (being an unnamed “staff reporter” for the Tidewater News) think they should suck it up and pay this year and wait until NEXT year to complain?? Obviously you don’t live on a fixed income. Or your not elderly. That’s ridiculous. Some of our elderly can barely keep food on their tables. $200 is a fortune to them. Glad to see the Tidewater News has a heart, especially this close to Christmas. Happy Holidays.

    Suggest Removal

    • mbrya023

      I could not have said it better myself. I, for one, would not have any idea what was said in The Tidewater News if i couldn’t read it for free online. I only put out my hard earned money for quality products.

      Suggest Removal

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