No increase in green box fees this year after SWA vote
According to the Solid Waste Authority, the green box fee has remained at $98 since 2006, and it isn't going up in 2012.
"When the Public Service Commission did look at our rate increase, they considered the green box fee staying at $98," said SWA president Ed Riley. "They're thinking $98 more than paid for the garbage that we were getting out of the green boxes."
SWA office administrator Mary Clendenen confirmed Riley's statement. Clendenen said the PSC reviewed everything when the SWA requested a rate increase.
"On the tipping fees, they recommended they go up to $64 a ton," said Clendenen. "But on the green box fees, their comment to me was that those were adequate right now for the amount of garbage the average household would dispose of."
According to Clendenen, the tipping fees have risen 308 percent and the green box fees have gone up 717 percent since 1989. The SWA bills about 4,050 customers for the green box fee every year, and Pocahontas County is the only county in West Virginia that uses the green box system. Riley said that every county in West Virginia would take our system if they could have it, and that Pocahontas County is grandfathered-in.
"We're competitive with private haulers," said Riley. "If we get our green box fee too high, then the private hauler takes everybody and our income goes way down."
Clendenen told board members that employee safety training was recently conducted.
"We had it at the library in town on April 3, it was conducted by Jody [Alderman], and all the employees attended except five," reported Clendenen. "One of them have already been in the office to do make up training, and the others will be coming in and doing their make up training individually.
Clendenen said the employees reviewed the SWA safety policy and incident reporting procedures and watched two videos, one on incident investigation and another on dealing with bugs and snakes. SWA employees also talked about reporting employee injuries, worker's compensation, and bloodborne pathogens.
Board members discussed options for billing Commercial Driver's License physicals, and decided to mimic the county commission's policy.
Clendenen told board members the county commission requires physicals for their deputies, and has the deputies bill their insurance first.
"Whatever the insurance doesn't pay, the county goes ahead and pays the difference," said Clendenen. If that's what you all would like us to do, that's what we'll instruct them to do for their CDL physical. We'll ask them to bill it to the insurance first."
The topic prompted SWA board member Buster Varner to inquire whether a drug testing policy was currently in place for SWA employees.
"[Are] we doing drug testing?" asked Varner. "Do we have a program for that? That's a requirement for the CDL isn't it?"
Clendenen confirmed that the SWA operates under a drug free workplace policy but does not conduct random drug testing.
Varner suggested investigating a random-drug testing policy and board members agreed to address the issue at their next meeting.
The Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority is scheduled to meet for their regular monthly meeting
at the Pocahontas County Courthouse on May 30 at 7 p.m.