Assembly raises garbage fees to pay for junk-car removal

City aims to find other solution to car disposal within the next year

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

The Juneau Assembly approved a measure Monday night increasing monthly utility bills by $1.40 for one year to help cover the cost of picking up and disposing of junk cars.

Starting September 1, homeowners will pay a hazardous waste management fee of $5.40 per month, instead of $4.

The city deals with about 700 junk cars a year. The price tag for disposal is about $340 per vehicle, including towing and disposal of hazardous materials, City Manager Rod Swope said.

The city will use the revenue generated by the fees, about $196,000, to help offset the cost of disposing of the junk cars until it can develop another approach, he said.

"In this year, we are going to try to figure out some other way of dealing with the problem," Swope said.

Dennis Harris, who works for Wright Services, a local property management company, testified against the measure.

"The emphasis for the funding of this is totally wrong," Harris said. "It's not the vehicle and the vehicle's owner that's paying the cost. It's the owner of the home. And we own 500 rental units."

Assembly member Dale Anderson also spoke against the measure.

"It is put on the back of the wrong people," he said. "We are hitting people who are paying taxes already."

The measure passed in a 7-2 vote. Anderson and Mayor Sally Smith voted against it.

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