A Mineral County contractor vowed on Dec. 4 to sue the county if he is forced to pay a long disputed bill for waste disposal.
Gary Moody of Hawthorne said his troubles at the county dump started about seven years ago when his construction company, G-Dubbs Construction, started being billed for the waste it produces. The fees for using the dump were set by the Board of County Comissioners nearly a decade ago, Moody said.
According to Moody, that resolution requires everyone who uses the dump to pay a fee to cross through the gates.
But the trouble, Moody said, is that only construction contractors are actually charged.
Moody’s bill has been piling up for almost a decade, and he’s reached his breaking point.
“I’m not paying the bill,” Moody said. “I’m stating it right now. I’ll get an attorney and at that point, if I pay this bill, we’re all going to court. And I’m going to get every construction company to come with me that I can sign up for it.”
Part of the problem is the wording of the resolution. The resolution opens by stating the board has found construction and contracting companies produce more waste than they pay for.
But the resolution also requires everyone who brings rubbish to the landfill to pay a fee to dump it.
This confusion appears to be at the root of the dispute. Moody understands that everyone is to pay the fee, and Hawthorne Utilities understands only contractors are to pay the fee.
But, there may be an end to the struggle in sight.
Jerri Tipton, chairwoman of the board, directed Sean Rowe, District Attorney, to meet with Moody and officials from the utility to hammer out a bargain and a new resolution that would spell out exactly who is charged what for using the dump. Tipton said she wants the resolution presented to the board by the end of January.
“We need something that covers the cost at the landfill,” she said. “The landfill cannot not cover its own bills.”
Tipton went on to say she doesn’t want the resolution to target a specific group, like contractors, to foot the entire bill for the landfill, but also that she doesn’t care if contractors are asked to pick up a “little more” of the bill.
“We’re going to have to figure out what works for the landfill and what works for our contractors,” said Paul MacBeth, commissioner. “I’m tired of beating up our contractors who are cleaning up our community—who are trying to improve it.”