MAGISTRATE: Free cleanup wastes money

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To the editor:
I recently voted against hosting a hazardous waste day for Oldham residents and will continue to vote against such programs in the future.
I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Fountain went out and got grant money for it each year, but that is still technically our money that we pay in taxes, whereas this trash is these personal residents’ responsibility. Although they say contractors aren’t allowed, I wager some of this stuff comes from companies, but even if it is only private waste they should pay for that and not the residents of the county.
 My main issue is, she said it would cost our county about $2,500 for the program this year. The contributions from the county will not be in-kind contributions of labor but mostly physical dollars and the actual cost of the entire program will be about $12,000 dollars. They had about 188 cars last year. That is about $63 per car.  Is that what a carload of materials costs to dump? That seems excessive and a waste of money. The people dropping this stuff off should be paying for those costs themselves, not the county and all residents.
I am OK with programs that clean up the county but this is something that is only going to benefit about 188 people.
Imagine if we kept cutting programs like that and saved $2,500 or so each month or two? We could have some serious money to use on services that benefit all residents – not just those who use this service once a year.
I accept that we need these programs sometimes, but in making it an every year thing we are conditioning people to think they have no responsibility for such waste; they just wait until we pony up the money and they dump for free.
Let’s at least charge the people $13 or $14 each – our share of the costs to dump the stuff or make people come volunteer for the privilege. We need to get back to personal responsibility and government doing things that benefit the larger community, not just those who take advantage of the system.
Again, I appreciate Mrs. Fountain’s efforts and those of her department. I know she has tried to mitigate the cost to the county. We need good employees like her in the county.
I hope all understand that I am just looking to cut the county’s costs wherever we can find it.
JD Sparks
Magistrate District 5