The amount that Alcorn County pays for household garbage collection can be added to the list of rising costs.
In a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Board of Supervisors inked a new contract with Waste Connections that will bring a 7.6 percent cost increase. The board negotiated a phased increase to lessen the blow of the higher cost.
The county currently pays $6.49 per household monthly for 8,300 addresses. Residents do not pay any monthly fee; the cost is entirely paid out of funds generated from property tax collections.
With the new contract, the monthly household cost will rise to $6.74 effective July 1 and $6.98 as of Jan. 1. Waste Connections also agreed to delay a 2 percent consumer price index adjustment to kick in at the third year of the contract rather than the second year.
A representative of Waste Connections said the increase is a result of rising costs such as fuel and metals and the “wage storm” taking place. The company has recently given its drivers a significant bump in pay in order to keep good, qualified drivers, she said.
The current round of bids was the second attempt by the county to get a rate that will work within the statutory constraints the county faces in funding the garbage service through millage. Waste Connections, the current provider, did not bid in the first round.
Waste Management was the only bidder in the first round and did not change its bid in the second round – $9.53 per household monthly or $10.53 per household if 95-gallon carts are provided. Those figures would far exceed the 6 mills the county can expend.
The new contract with Waste Connections is for six years with the option to renew for an additional four years.
The county stopped handling garbage pickup on its own six years ago and entered a contract with Waste Connections at a cost of $5.98 per household.
It is estimated the county now has about 8,450 garbage customers.