County considers lowering fees

Mille Lacs County Times

Commissioner Phil Peterson thinks the fees for haulers of solid waste in Mille Lacs County are too high, especially compared to a nearby county.

There was a discussion about those fees at the Feb. 21 meeting of the Mille Lacs County Board and the board decided to continue that discussion at a March meeting.

Land Services Office director Michele McPherson is surveying surrounding counties and will forward that information to County Administrator Roxy Traxler.

As of Monday this week McPherson had information from Benton, Chisago, Morrison, Sherburne and Stearns counties, and was waiting to hear from Aitkin, Crow Wing and Isanti.

“But I won’t be making a recommendation,” she said. “I will just get the information to Roxy.”

Mille Lacs County charges $75 for an application and $500 for a license to haul solid waste.

Stearns County, for example, charges $135 for a license and $50 per truck. In other words, a company in Stearns County that uses three trucks would pay only a total of $285, compared to $575 in Mille Lacs.

“We should be helping out these guys in this economy,” said Commissioner Peterson.

McPherson, whose office administers the fees, said that a hauler from Kanabec County who works in Mille Lacs County had raised that issue.

It costs him only $50 to haul in Kanabec County and he told McPherson he will be watching to see if it is worth it to haul in Mille Lacs County.

“We could make a fee change retroactive,” said Peterson as the discussion continued.

For the full story, see the Thursday, March 1 print edition of the Times.