Why are erroneously billed trash collection fees a frequent problem for property owners in rural Union County?

NEMiss.News Union Co. Supervisors Meeting 10-18-21
From left, Theresa Rush, Board of Supervisors President Steve Watson, board attorney Chandler Rogers and Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey try to sort out garbage collection bill.

 

It happens several times each year. Not dozens of times, but it’s an odd and not rare feature of the the meetings of the Union County Board of Supervisors. It was the very first item on the agenda of the board’s Monday, Oct. 18 meeting.

It goes like this: A citizen gets on the board agenda to contest a trash collection bill they say the do not owe. And nearly every time their complaint seems pretty sound.

At the most recent meeting it was property owner Theresa Rush. She had received a bill, some of the charges going back 23 years, for garbage collection fees she said were incurred before she owned the property. Ms. Rush had a bill for over $300. The county has told Ms Rush and others in the same predicament that they can’t even purchase a license tag for a motor vehicle until the bill is paid.

If a trash collection bill is delinquent, the county is supposed to slap a lien on the property that must be cleared before the property is sold. For reasons not yet known, enforcing the lien must rather frequently “fall through the cracks.” Teresa Rush is not a rare case. A good many people buy real estate in Union County and then get a bill for garbage collection that is actually owed (if at all) by previous owners of the real estate.

The billing is done for the county by the Three Rivers Planning and Development District in Pontotoc. Is Three Rivers at fault every time this happens? Is the failure in the office of some Union County elected official?

The officials at the Monday meeting looked over the bill Theresa Rush got from Three Rivers and a scratched their heads. Talk around the table made it clear they thought Rush was right, that she does not, in fact, owe the money.

And the board acted as it usually does every time this problem comes up. They “took it under advisement,” which means that somebody will have to sort it out so the board can make a decision sometime in the future. One wonders why the board doesn’t charge somebody with seeing to it that this petty problem doesn’t occur time after time after time. It is highly inconvenient to Rush and other victims and seems like it should be a fixable administrative failure.

In other action Monday, the board:

  • Authorized the purchasing clerk to advertise for the purchase of one or more dump trucks through a reverse auction.
  • Approved Jerry Lowery to act as Justice Court Bailiff at fees of $60 per session.
  • Approved two manual checks for attorney fees on the Loan/Bond issue for the E-911 system.
  • Approved eight Medical Examiner statements of fees.

The next meeting of the Union County Board of Supervisors will be at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 1st.

More about County trash collection problems

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

About NEMiss.NEWS

NEMiss.NEWS is a locally owned and operated online news magazine containing news, information, opinion, etc. of interest to residents of Northeast Mississippi. NEMiss.NEWS was founded in 2014 and is a division of Shivimage, LLC, and began publishing in early 2015. read more>>

Northeast Mississippi's Online News Source