Scofield garbage fee: gone but not forgotten
The Pleasant Valley garbage assessment has been deleted from property tax notices for some 480 Scofield area cabin owners, but it's likely to come back from the recycle bin as a separate bill in the mail.
After getting an earful from a delegation of disgruntled cabin owners two weeks ago, the County Commission has decided that putting the $75 assessment on the same statement that lists mill levies and taxes due did not go over well. New notices have been sent out as a result.
On Wednesday, Clay Frandsen, representing owners at the Aspen Cove development, raised similar questions. Commissioners explained that the fee was put on the tax forms to save on paper and postage costs. "We did everything we could to cut costs and it still upset people," said commissioner John Jones.
Commissioner Mike Milovich noted that confusion over the garbage fee - which has not been charged before - probably arose because the commission voted to impose it two years ago but didn't get around to collecting it until now. Nevertheless, he said, the fee is still necessary to cover the cost of hauling trash and paying tipping fees to the ECDC landfill in East Carbon.
The issue did not arise until the landfill began charging $22 per ton, Milovich added.
Somebody has to pay to put the garbage from Scofield away, and if the cabin owners don't, it means the rest of the residents would have to make it up. "I can't image that people up there want other people to subsidize them," Jones commented.
Cabin owners earlier commented that their fees would be subsidizing boaters, anglers and tourists, who don't pay but get to use dumpsters at Madsen Bay and between the campground and the town.
Frandsen also said fellow Aspen Cove residents had questions about what services they were getting for cabin property taxes in general.
Basic emergency services was the reply: police, fire, ambulance. The lion's share of all property taxes, some 60 percent, goes to the school district. The county's share is around 20 percent.
In addition, added Commissioner Bill Krompel, the county invested $750,000 in a bridge reconstruction across Upper Fish Creek which made additional lakeside development of cabins on the west side feasible in the first place.