The Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency has made efforts to correct a billing issue. Incorrect census data resulted in some cities, like Camanche and DeWitt, being undercharged for annual per capita solid waste fees, and cities like Clinton being overcharged.
Director Brad Seward said the error was brought to the agency’s attention by officials in the city of Charlotte. A $10 per capita fee is to be charged annually to help cover landfill costs, but the most recent bills, sent out July 1, did not incorporate data from the 2010 census. Seward said the issue was caught early and resolved without any major hassle. Recent census data indicates a drop in population for the county from 50,149 to 40,116, resulting in a $10,330 dip in annual revenue for the CCASWA. Seward said the decrease in funds shouldn’t be a major roadblock for the county.
“I think we can find a place to make some minor changes in our budget to make up for that $10,000,” Seward said. “I don’t think there’s any need to go out and ask for more assessment funds at this time.”
The CCASWA was expected to be in the red for FY10 as a result of landfill construction. Fortunately, the year ended with a positive balance, which leads Seward to believe that the loss in revenue shouldn’t be insurmountable.
“Hopefully we’ll have similar luck this year,” he said.
Many cities experience a drop in population, like Clinton, which has decreased by 887 residents over the past 10 years. This means that the bill the city originally received from the CCASWA was $8,870 more than it should have been. Seward said officials in Charlotte, which also decreased in population, pointed out that the CCASWA was using 2000 census data when 2010 data had recently become available. The issue was noticed within days of the bills being issued, meaning corrected statements were sent out immediately. The quick reaction prevented the CCASWA from being forced to issue refunds. However, some cities were required to pay a bit more. DeWitt and Camanche grew by 273 and 233 respectively over the past decade, and had to pay the difference. Overall, Seward said the quick action of the CCASWA made it possible to avoid any complications.
“It’s a very minor issue,” Seward said.