Veterans lay in wait for Solid Waste Discount
April 1, 2021
A resolution came before the commission, “establishing a reserve account in the Solid Waste Fund to accept private donations from individuals wanting to help pay half of the residential solid waste fee of disabled veterans and widows of disabled veterans who qualify for property tax relief.”
According to the Lewis County Trustee’s Office, there are currently 41 disabled veterans and 10 widows of disabled veterans on our Property Tax Relief Program. In order to cover half of their residential solid waste fee, it would be a total of $2,550 that would need to be raised by October 1, 2021.
County Mayor Keltner opened the floor for discussion by giving his personal endorsement for the resolution when asked how the money could be raised. “I’m pretty confident we can raise this money... but I think the public would really get involved on this... Even worst case scenario and we don’t get that money raised and we have to take it out of the General Fund, it’s only $2,500,” said Mayor Keltner.
Commissioner Wendell Kelley then said that he believed the elderly should also receive the discount. “Most of the disabled veterans do get a check for their disability and some of the elderly just don’t,” said Commissioner Kelley. “I think we should add them into the fundraiser as well, and I’m prepared to make a motion to amend [the resolution] if I can get a second.”
After some discussion among the commissioners, it was eventually decided to also include the disabled as well as the elderly because these individuals have to make under a certain annual income and meet specific requirements determined by the state.
According to the 2021 Property Tax Relief Data for Lewis County, there are 263 elderly and 32 disabled individuals in the county, which makes a total of 346 people eligible for a discount on their residential solid waste fee. The discount would cost $17,300 if decided to be fifty percent off.
Commissioner Allison Tanner pointed out that there needed to be something in place telling where to get the money from if the fundraisers did not cover the seventeen thousand.
The amendment was put to a roll call vote where all commissioners voted yes, amending the resolution to include the disabled, elderly, veterans and widows.
Commissioner Tanner then motioned to table the resolution until the money could be found. Commissioner Ronnie Brewer suggested waiting until this fiscal period closes out on June 30th so that the solid waste fund could be analyzed. The next payment period would not be until October, so none of the individuals would be billed for their residential solid waste before the commissioners came to a conclusion.
Commissioner Doug Jobbitt seconded the motion. All commissioners voted yes, except Commissioner Bill Dyer who voted no.