City working out landfill policy kinks

Kevin Wilson

The City of Clovis is still working out kinks in its week-old landfill payment policies.

Effective May 1, landfill customers must pay every time they use the landfill. The old policy allowed for monthly billing.

“We had a lot of overdue accounts,” Public Works Director Clint Bunch said. “We had people who pretty much charged their use of the landfill, and collections were a problem.”

The changes created a new series of problems for some of the landfill’s most frequent customers.

Sylvia Shot, whose family owns a tree trimming business, said her business never received notification of the changes.

Her problem was not the expense — green waste is now charged a rate of $18 per ton — but the notification process and the hassle involved. Shot said her workers have to go out seven to eight times a day.

“We have to give our employees cash, and we have to keep track of all of the money. We don’t want to give them a debit card.”

City Engineer Justin Howalt said Shot should have been notified. Letters were sent detailing the changes with Feburary bills, but there was word that not everybody had received notificiation.

As a result, Howalt said, the city delayed the policy changes from April 1 to May 1. He thought the extra month should have been enough to make sure everybody got a letter.

“I would assume that it did,” Howalt said. “I didn’t personally send out the letter, but I think it went out with all of our accountholders.”

The second complaint is something the city’s addressing this week.

“We’re working the bugs out,” Bunch said. “We do have a virtual terminal. They’re charged at the end of the day for all of their purchases. We just set that up starting today, I believe.”

The terminal system, Howalt said, was put in with frequent users in mind. A customer can go down to city hall and fill out an application for the virtual terminal using a valid credit card.

The information is transferred to Chase Bank, which handles the terminal, and city staff shreds the application, Howalt said. When the gate attendant pulls up information, the terminal only displays the last four digits of the credit card on file.

“It helps us make sure we’re getting paid, that we don’t have delinquent accounts,” Howalt said. “It streamlines our billing.”

Shot said she had not seen the terminal, but felt it was an adequate solution.