Garbage collection fees will not rise in rural Pointe Coupee

Representatives of Progressive Waste Solutions informed the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury on Tuesday night that the solid waste company would not increase the per household cost it charges the parish to provide residential trash service despite New Roads pulling out of the jury’s five-year deal with the company.

According to the parish’s recently renewed contract, Progressive agreed to charge the parish $12.48 monthly per household for twice-a-week service for 10,000 households in Pointe Coupee Parish.

The jury feared that price quote was in jeopardy after New Roads Mayor Robert Myer apprised the parish in September that the New Roads City Council had given him the authority to broker a new deal for residential trash service within the city limits.

New Roads accounts for about 1,800 homes, officials previously said.

“Our people agreed we shouldn’t penalize the parish,” said Bill Fry, Progressive’s district marketing and government affairs manager, to the Police Jury during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Fry also told jurors the company would be meeting with New Roads officials soon and had no intentions of offering the city a better deal than what it presented to the parish.

“We’re offering New Roads the same contract price — $12.48 per household,” Fry said.

Steven Cheatham, another Progressive representative at Tuesday’s meeting, added, “Our estimation is the contracts are going to be identical.”

The parish’s contract with Progressive ends Feb. 1. At that time, the parish’s obligation to collect garbage will end in New Roads and the new five-year deal with Progressive kicks in.

However, New Roads residents will still have to pay into the parish’s 1-cent solid waste tax, which generates about $500,000 annually that the Police Jury uses to subsidize costs related to garbage service.

“They’re going to be double taxed,” Juror Cornell Dukes said during the meeting. “That’s the direction we’re going: double taxation. I want everyone to understand that. They’ll still be paying for service here that they’re not getting, and paying for garbage collection (in the city limits).”

During a telephone interview following Tuesday night’s meeting, Myer said the Police Jury has raised utility rates by 50 percent over the past three years and imposed a $2.50 drainage impact fee on residents.

He said the Police Jury should waive the garbage collection tax in New Roads.

“The pattern of taxing with no plan of spending must stop from the Police Jury,” Myer said. “Cornell Dukes and the jury leadership should have the integrity to acknowledge they should either suspend the solid waste tax on the city or refund the revenue to the city on behalf of the citizens.”