Mineral County residents will see a rate increase in their landfill assessments from Hawthorne Utilities this year but after year’s of complaints regarding the dump gate fee, residents may be pleasantly surprised.

Ana Fitzgerald, Office Manager and Director Larry Grant of Hawthorne Utilities met with the county commissioners in regards to the modification of the rate of assessment of the Mineral County Landfill (Mineral County Ordinance 240A).

Fitzgerald explained that in 2005 the life expectancy of the dump was 26 years. In 2010 it was raised to 61. Last year’s review moved the expectancy to 26 years.

Grant explained, “There is much more to this. They [the estimators for dump life expectancy] were going off previous management information estimated.”

Discussion of the rate increase was decided upon $12 for Hawthorne residents, up from $10 from last year. Mina and Luning residents will see an increase of $13. With this assessment charge, one free truck load will be allowed through the gate each day instead of being charged the $5 gate fee.

Commissioner Garth Price was adamant on how to remove the fee collected at the gate for each load. (This does not apply to contractors waste that is disposed at the Hawthorne Landfill.)

Fitzgerald explained that those who have land in Hawthorne need to pay this assessment fee so that they feel “like they have an investment” in their property and “pride in their property”. Vacant lands will be charged $20 a year (with no reduction exceptions).

Tree limbs will be charged $5 a load for contract haulers (two inches and under).

Those who have problems with the gate fee or assessment can contact Fitzgerald at Hawthorne Utilities.