A late arrival by representatives from the city of Mesquite, including city attorney Bob Sweetin, allowed the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners to deal with an issue at their Oct. 9 meeting involving tipping fees for garbage dumps that have been billed, but not paid for. The dump area is located a little north of the Virgin River Casino in Mesquite, but is really in Lincoln County.
Commission chairman Paul Donohue said last January that commissioners had agreed to have the city of Mesquite make a counter proposal, “but we had not heard from them since.”
He said the board put the item back on the meeting agenda at this time so it could be further discussed, “and to say that it was the garbage company down there we were dealing with, not the city, and we were going to start the process of suing the garbage company. They do owe us.”
However, Donohue said very shortly after the board concluded a few short comments about the item it had to move on, since no one from Mesquite was attending, “then attorney Sweetin and another representative from the city came into the council chambers. So, we reopened that agenda item.”
Sweetin explained that the request Lincoln County had sent for back payment in January went to Virgin Valley Disposal in Mesquite, but the information was not passed on to the city, “and they really didn’t know about it until seeing it listed on the board agenda for the Oct. 16 meeting.”
Sweetin said the city would be willing to give Lincoln County a proposal and commissioners agreed to allow Mesquite a little more time. “But not long,” Donohue said, “only about a month.” He said the item will appear on the Nov. 6 meeting agenda, but did not know if a decision would be made at that time.
Donohue further explained that counties are allowed, by law, to charge tipping fees for use of disposal facilities within their county, and the involved agencies work out a negotiated price. Virgin Valley’s disposal site, although servicing the greater Mesquite area of Clark County, is actually located in Lincoln County.
“The city of Mesquite has maintained,” Donohue said, “that a possessory use tax should not be charged because it is the city.” But the Lincoln County Board believes they do have the right to levy the tax. “It’s been an ongoing fight for some time,” he said.