The municipal landfill for the City of Mesquite is in the Toquop section of the Lincoln County Land Act of 2004.
At a County Commission subcommittee meeting in Pioche May 18, discussion was held on the host fee rates for use by Mesquite of the landfill.
Recommended rates were set at $1.35 for Class I (household and hazardous wastes) and Class II materials and 15 cents per ton for Class III solid wastes.
At the meeting, representatives from Mesquite, including City Attorney Bob Sweetin and Bob Tanner with the City of Mesquite Public Works Department, were on hand to ask for an exemption from the host fees.
However, subcommittee members said they felt the fees needed to be consistent for anyone using a landfill in Lincoln County, beit Western Elite, Recology or Mesquite.
Lincoln County District Attorney Dan Hooge said the county has not been charging anyone host fees, except for $1.35 per ton to Recology at Crestline, but the subcommittee felt it was time to start charging others as well.
He said, “They (Mesquite), projected the host fees would cost the City between $50,000 to $80,000 per year, and they just don’t want to pay that.”
Sweetin stated an existing 1994 agreement between the City and Lincoln County should be grandfathered in, and they don’t have to pay.
However, Hooge noted in a later interview, it is a pretty common industry standard nationwide for host fees to be charged. “We’re just now implementing it, and they (Mesquite) don’t like it. They don’t want to pay anything. The $1.35 per ton we propose is by far one of the lowest in the nation.”
Regarding the 1994 agreement, Hooge said that was “dealing with property taxes and didn’t have anything to do with host fees.” The agreement was for Mesquite to pay a certain amount in taxes.”
But, just a few years ago, Hooge said the State Board of Taxation voided that agreement, saying an agreement cannot be entered into to set taxes. “We have been assessing it since 1994, and it’s been less than it first was, now down to about $1200 a year.”
Asked if Lincoln County would maintain the paved road that goes through some of the other Toquop parcels to the landfill, the County probably will, and most likely pay the City of Mesquite to do the actual maintenance work.
The new recommended rates will be placed on the June 1 County Commission agenda for action and/or approval.