Travelers Rest sign

A new trash fee has been proposed by the city council.

TRAVELERS REST, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Travelers Rest City council voted in favor of a $6.00 monthly trash fee on Thursday. 

The fee was approved by a vote of 5-4.

The trash fee will be $6.00 per month and there will be a homestead exception for the elderly or those on a fixed income. Those in the city who meet this homestead exception will not have to pay for the services. 

We covered this proposed initiative earlier this week and asked people what they thought about it. 
Mayor Brandy Amidon initially announced the idea on Facebook on May 17.
See the post here.
The mayor received more than 30 comments, mostly opposing the idea. City council members say they're split too.

Here's the full statement from the city:

“The cost to the City of Travelers Rest for residential solid waste collection varies in accordance with the expenses incurred by the City for such collection and disposal. This expense has become a significant amount of the annual budget for the City and it is proposed that the cost of solid waste collection and disposal be equally and fairly apportioned to the users of trash service rather than the general taxpayers in accordance with the South Carolina Solid Waste Policy and Management Act of 1991. For this reason, City Council is considering a residential trash collection and disposal service fee (Sanitation Fee) to either partially fund or fully fund the full costs of our residential trash collection and disposal program.   The fully funded option would be a proposed service fee of $15.17/month per customer and would be assessed monthly on the water bill. The partial funded fee would be $6 per month. This fee enables the City to raise sufficient revenue to cover costs to provide trash services. Both options will be discussed and voted on this Thursday."

Residents like John Gordon have mixed feelings.

"TR is a growing place, happening place," Gordon said.

Gordon says he's open to the idea of new fees.

"In the city of Travelers Rest, you're already paying double taxes. You pay city taxes and county taxes, as it is. So, it's kind of just another fee. I guess they're just trying to get some money, which is fine. I understand. We're growing," Gordon said.

Amidon says they're one of the only municipalities that doesn't charge a trash fee.

Council member Brantly Vest explains where the money is going.

"It would free up some money in the general fund that could go toward hiring additional police and fire staff," Vest said.

Vest says there may be a cheaper option in the works.

"If there's a motion to consider the third option it would me, as my understanding, is a six-dollar option which would not cover the entire cost of the service but just a lower fee scheduled to not put all the burden on the taxpayer," Vest said.

Vest says he has openly opposed the idea.

"We all care deeply for Traveler's Rest. I think that we all come to our own conclusions about things. I mean, in my view I don't think the level of need is as great as others view it," Vest said.

Gordon, who's more in the middle, says he would have preferred more details ahead of time

"It would have been nice to get some more information before they go to propose it out there for it. It's just kind of different," Gordon said.

The fee is expected to start in September 2021.

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