New Roads wants share of Pointe Coupee trash tax

The City Council adopted a resolution Tuesday asking the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury to share part of the revenue it receives from the parish’s 1-cent solid waste tax.

The move came shortly before the City Council voted unanimously to entered into a five-year contract for residential trash service with Republic Services and sets the stage for another fight between city officials and the police jury over trash collection.

New Roads’ deal with Republic, effective March 1, comes four months after it informed the Police Jury it was opting out of the parish’s contract with Progressive Waste Solutions, the private company that currently provides garbage service for the entire parish.

Jury President Melanie Bueche said Wednesday it’s highly unlikely the parish will fork over a share of the solid waste tax revenue—which generates approximately $600,000 annually—because the parish depends on those funds to provide trash collection services to all of its residents.

“A small percentage of that money pays for the Dumpsters at the parish barns. These Dumpsters can be used by anyone in the parish, including New Roads residents, to go there with debris to unload,” Bueche said Wednesday. “That’s a parish tax. All of the parish uses that. We’re not going to change just because they broke away and went and got their own contract.”

New Roads Mayor Robert Myer has said the city wanted out of the parish’s trash deal because he was confident the city could secure a cheaper rate and provide additional services, such as recycling.

Myer and New Roads leaders were also peeved they weren’t invited to the negotiating table when parish officials were ironing out the details of a contract renewal with Progressive.

Juror Cornell Dukes, a passionate voice against the city exiting the parish’s solid waste contract, has said previously New Roads residents would be “double taxed” if the city took on trash service itself. Duke’s based his assessment on the fact that New Roads residents will still have to pay a monthly fee for trash service as well as the parish’s 1-cent solid waste tax.

Dukes joined Bueche in her skepticism Wednesday that the Police Jury would ever support New Roads’ resolution.

“That’s encouraging people to break away from the parish,” Dukes said Wednesday.

In his recommendation to the council to adopt the resolution, the mayor said if the parish refuses to share the solid waste tax revenue now that the city has its own garbage contract, the parish should suspend collection of the tax inside the city limits.

“I believe the leadership of the Police Jury should have the integrity to give the citizens of New Roads their rightful portion of the solid waste tax or an explanation as to what they are going to do with this money,” Myer said in a prepared statement.

Dukes and several jurors who represent the New Roads area are meeting with the parish attorney on Thursday to weigh legal options the parish has to reallocate New Roads’ portion of the solid waste tax revenue into other parish coffers.

Dukes said the details of that meeting would likely be discussed with the full jury at its first meeting in February.