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Fri, Jan. 24

Illegal dumping has large impact on city’s finances<br>

Williams Police Depart-ment Officer Tad Wygal checks the contents of a city owned trash container. Below, warnings are clearly posted on all trash containers informing users that unauthorized use of the receptacles is a punishable offense.

Revenues from city residents rose from $13,821 during fiscal year 2003 to $32,164 during fiscal year 2004. Revenue generated from county residents was $19,312 during fiscal year 2003. After the installation of the scale at the transfer station, revenue collected from county residents increased slightly to $19,821 during fiscal year 2004.

“As you can see, since we put in the scales, the city resident revenue almost tripled while the county resident revenue remained flat. This implies that county residents aren’t using the transfer station at the same rate as before,” said Joe Duffy, finance director/assistant city manager. “The trash has to be going somewhere. We suspect a portion is illegal dumping.”

City officials believe county residents are disposing of their trash in city owned trash containers. The containers provided to residents and business are for the paying customers only. Although a business owner or resident may allow a non-resident to dispose of their trash in those cans, the act remains illegal since only city officials can authorize the use of the containers.

Unauthorized use of a trash receptacle — a class one misdemeanor — carries a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum fine of $2,500 and six months in jail. The Williams Police Department has stepped up their patrols, targeting illegal dumping. Anyone caught illegally dumping in the city limits will be issued a citation immediately. No warnings will be issued, said WPD Chief Frank Manson.

“Illegal dumping is both an economic and a resource problem for the city,” Manson said. “These acts have a significant financial impact on the city.”

The WPD has partnered with the Forest Service in a proactive effort to curtail illegal dumping in the forest. WPD officers will be conducting surveillance in areas where illegal dumping frequently occurs. The contents of the trash containers will be examined for evidence of illegal dumping, said WPD Sgt. Rob Krombeen.

“We are asking people to do the right thing and utilize the transfer station,” Manson said.

Residents are asked to assist the WPD by calling the police department should they witness illegal dumping. Obtain a good description of the vehicle and its occupants. When possible, write down the license number of the vehicle, Manson said.

The transfer station — located near the water station and Bob Dean Rodeo Grounds — is open Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

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