Northampton seeks lost revenue

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

JACKSON — One man’s trash container may be Northampton County’s treasure.

At their resumed meeting last week, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners discussed an audit that is occurring that could help save the county money.

Finance Officer Dot Vick appeared before the board with a recommendation to approve a $250,000 loan from the county Water and Sewer fund to the Solid Waste fund.

According to Vick’s decision paper, the Solid Waste fund is running a deficit and needs additional funding for the 08-09 fiscal year.

Vick reported that as of June 30 cash in the enterprise fund was at $368,712.75 plus revenue.

“It’s not something I really like to do,” said Vick about the loan. “But I don’t know what else to do.”

The loan is slated to be repaid to the Sewer and Water fund by December 31, 2009.

Commissioner James Hester made a motion to approve the loan from Sewer and Water to Solid Waste in the amount of $250,000; it was seconded by Commissioner Virginia Spruill.

In the meantime, an audit is being done by the Solid Waste staff to determine if the county is collecting for all containers being used and billed to the county.

According to County Manager Wayne Jenkins, the problem began back in 1993 when the region had similar-looking trash bins. When people moved from a different county to Northampton they would often bring their trash can.

Jenkins said, for example, if a person has four trash cans, the county is paying to pick up four cans and receiving for only one of the waste containers.

The county hopes to correct this problem with the audit which could help to close the gap between the revenues and disbursements.

Jenkins said in the lake area of the county the audit thus far has identified 75 extra containers. The property owners with extra bins will have an option of paying for the additional container(s).