Monday, Oct 17 2011 -
At its October 11th
meeting, the San Juan County Council devoted more than four hours to defining the issues surrounding the Solid Waste Charge proposal it placed on the November 8th
ballot, and incorporating them into a resolution to inform voters.
The result is the Council’s view of how solid waste will be managed in San Juan County after the election, whether the issue passes or fails. The resolution is available online at: http://sanjuanco.com/SolidWasteOptions
If approved, the Solid Waste Charge would be assessed on all developed parcels of land, except those within the town of Friday Harbor. The base annual charge for the first year was set at $100 for each residential parcel containing a single family home. The charge is proportionately higher or lower on parcels with different types and amounts of development, based on waste generation studies.
The Council has defined a “Plan A” which the County will follow if the fee is approved. That plan would enable the County’s solid waste utility to continue funding and operating facilities on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas islands. It would also allocate between $1 million and $3 million toward either rebuilding the current solid waste facility on San Juan Island or constructing a new facility on County-owned property adjacent to the current site. Plan “A” would also allot $22,000 toward providing the support of outer island solid waste disposal that, until this year, had been provided for Shaw and Blakely Islands.
“Plan B” will be implemented if the solid waste charge is rejected by voters. That plan calls for closing the three County solid waste facilities. Route (or “roadside”) collection would then be the only assured collection system. Litter, noxious weeds, beach clean ups, household hazardous waste round-ups and other programs would be funded through the excise tax on the certified trash hauler. Under Plan “B”, the council said the County’s decommissioned solid waste facilities would be available for lease to a qualified private operator who desires to operate a waste drop off facility.
The Council’s resolution
offers more details on the two plans, and charts showing the estimated cost of each.