County to increase trash sticker cost

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The price for a Dubois County trash sticker will increase from $1 to $1.50 starting Aug. 1.

County Highway Superintendent Steve Berg said increasing the cost to $1.50 could ultimately make the service be self-sufficient.

“We could minimize the effect we have on county general,” he told the Dubois County Commissioners Monday. The county has a budget in its overall budget for covering the service’s operation expenses.

After reviewing numbers and seeing that the revenue generated from the trash and recycling service did not cover the service’s expenses last year, the commissioners approved the increase, though a little reluctantly.

Berg gave the commissioners information about the service’s revenue and expenses since 2012. In the last five years, there was a net gain in revenue ranging between $10,000 and $30,000. But in the years that a new truck had to be purchased, which happened in 2015 and last year, the service had a net loss.

The 2018 program had an overall net loss of $74,563.41. The money generated from trash sticker sales was $292,296, which was part of the $333,747.63 in revenue that was generated in the year. However, the service’s expenses were $408,311.04, which included a $69,628.52 truck purchase.

The $74,563.41 net loss was covered by the $209,585.61 cash balance the program had at the beginning of 2018, decreasing that balance to $135,022.20 for 2019.

Numbers for 2019 weren’t included in the report, since this year is not completed.

The consistent change among the service’s expenses over all the years is the cost for refuse disposal, or getting rid of the trash collected. That cost has steadily increased. In the 2018 solid waste collection budget, $84,353.20 was spent on refuse disposal, which is more than 2017’s $75,469.72, 2016’s $67,210.70 and 2015’s $53,565.70. This does not include the consistent cost of $88,000 that is spent each year in the sanitation department’s budget for refuse disposal.

Berg shared numbers showing the commissioners how the revenue would have been affected if sticker prices increased to $1.25 each or to $1.50 each. In 2018, the revenue from selling the stickers for $1.25 each would have generated $365,370, which is more than the $292,296 that was actually generated. However, there would have still been an overall net loss of $70,658.41. Had the stickers been $1.50 each, the revenue generated would have been $438,444; that would have produced an overall net gain of $71,584.59 for 2018.

“The quarter gets us even but doesn’t recoup what county general puts in,” Commissioners Elmer Brames said while looking at the numbers. “The $1.25 keeps us even; the $1.50 would eliminate half of what we put in county general.”

The commissioners determined that while $1.25 could help stop the deficit, the $1.50 cost will eventually make the service become self-sufficient.

They decided to implement the increase Aug. 1 to allow time for people to learn about the change.




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