Chester County Solid Waste fee finally settled at $7 a month

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Danny Bernard, Solid Waste Director, spoke on how much the county will lose if they lost the Solid Waste Convenience Center.

By Kendall Patterson
Staff Writer

During the Chester County Commission’s quarterly meeting, Chester County Mayor Barry Hutcherson and the commissioners were faced to make a decision on the Solid Waste fee that has been discussed for a few months now after being tabled a couple times.
For a while at the meeting it seemed as if the Solid Waste Convenience Center may be shut down.
At first, the commissioners voted for or against having the fee at $8 a month, however, since they needed two-thirds of the commissioners to vote in favor of it, the passing of the vote failed with eight no’s and 10 yes’s.
Next, Commissioner Jackie Butler, who is on the Solid Waste Committee announced the committee said that it was fine to decrease it to $6 a month, however it failed as well with 10 yes’s and eight no’s.
At that point, there were comments that the county would be without the center.
Earlier in the meeting Joseph Melaro stated he was against doing the Solid Waste fee as a whole.
“I would suggest we look for an alternate way. That’s what our job is. We always get this motive of spending more money and spending more money and throwing more money at every situation we have,” Melaro said.
Once the possibility of it being shut down occurred, Danny Bernard, Director of the Solid Waste made a comment.
“I was hoping it would pass, but it appears to me that the residents do not want the convenience they have,” he said.
Melaro responded to Bernard, “I want to clarify when I vote ‘no’ Danny, I’m not voting no against Solid Waste. I do believe we need to have it. My issue is us constantly having to go to the taxpayers to pay for everything when there is an increase on everything instead of us doing our job as commissioners and looking at the entire budget. Our budget’s been up. I’ve been on this commission three terms. It’s never gone down. We’ve never done budget cuts…. When you take five or 10 thousand dollars out of a line item and you put $150,000 somewhere else, that’s not a budget cut.”
Soon after though, Sandra Highers made the motion to pay $7 dollars a month and it was settled with a vote of 16 in favor and two against it.
All that is left is for a Private Act to be written and approved so that the trustee’s office can put it on the tax statement for it to take place.
After all business is done, if the Private Act is approved, said collections are estimated to start September or October of 2021.
An update on the new ambulance facility was also given. The ambulance company will move in during the beginning of October.
Mayor Barry Hutcherson and Commissioner Barry Smith were elected as chairman and chairman pro tem, respectively.
In other business, Hutcherson discussed how he was looking at a building the county could purchase to be an animal shelter for the county.

Commissioner Joseph Melaro argued that there had to be other ways to keep Solid Waste funded without doing the fee. He suggested budget cuts could be made. Photos by Kendall Patterson

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