Dickson County Sues Residents Over Sanitation Fee - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dickson County Sues Residents Over Sanitation Fee

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by Mark Bellinger

DICKSON, Tenn.-  Dickson County has decided to take thousands of residents who refused to pay a sanitation fee to court.   

The controversy was not over the fee itself, but how it's collected. The $10 sanitation fee was put into place following at 10-year battle to clean the landfill up. Several lawsuits were settled out of court over contamination at the site.  

A federal trial was avoided two years ago when the county agreed to set up a $5 million fund to clean up and monitor the landfill.  

The settlement forced the county to find some extra money, so the county commission voted to charge residents a monthly $10 sanitation fee. It replaced 24-cents of property tax that was freed up to pay for things like cleaning up the landfill.  

Around 2,000 residents have refused to pay the fee, including Mike Bailey. 

"It's basically a protest. You know, they were upset over having this extra $10 tagged on, but they're very upset over this 50 percent penalty. A lot of people have said we're just not paying it. We believe it's illegal." Bailey said.

Officials said Bailey owes the county $346 in fees and late charges. 

County Mayor Mike Rial said most people have paid the fee.  

"Just from the level of fairness for the 91 percent who are paying it is only right for this 9 percent who aren't paying to have paid, so we're going after that by all legal means." Rial told NewsChannel 5.  

Bailey said he believes paying the fee in full once a year would be fairer, and fewer people would have to pay the late fee. Rial said that was up to the county commission.  

Bailey said he was prepared for court and has even asked for a jury trial.

A petition has been started by a group of people to try and stop the fee. They are trying to collect 5,000 names, so far they have 1,000.

Email: mbellinger@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5MarkBellinger
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_MBellinger 

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