Bring Spring Landfill Controversy Continues 10/7/13
October 7th, 2013
The landfill continues to be the center of controversy in Big Spring. Now, it’s about how the city will pay for it, as new trash collection fees were voted down in the last city council meeting.
City officials say those fees were going to maintain the current landfill and help build a new one. However, council members that voted against it say the city has other sources of revenue they need to tap in to.
The city assumed a trash collection fee increase of three dollars was going to pass council.
"My frustration is no one discussed anything,” said councilman Raul Benavides. “During the discussion portion of this vote no one discussed anything. The four council members who voted against it discussed zero."
The increase passed its first reading 6-1 before falling 4-3 last meeting, which now leaves a hole in the budget. Councilman Glen Carrigan who voted against it, says Big Spring increased taxes and dumping rates at the landfill and he couldn’t support another increase.
"We don't need to raise collections at this point," he said.
He says the city should use sales tax revenue or funds from the reserve balance to fill the gap.
"We're going to have to keep money in the reserve fund, but I think some of the money could be used for these things yes," he said.
Benavides, who voted for the fee increase, says tapping into the fund balance is the wrong way to go.
"The problem is once you dip into the cookie jar, it’s hard to stop," he said.