Committee considers tipping fee

EAST LIVERPOOL – Companies that ship bulk materials from the city could soon be paying a tipping fee that has been discussed by officials for some time.

Long proposed by Councilman Ray Perorazio, an ordinance imposing a 25-cent-per-ton tipping fee was presented Tuesday during a meeting of the Planning and Expansion Committee he chairs.

The new fee would be imposed on any facility inside the city used for transportation or shipping of bulk material, which was defined as “material that is ordered, stored, issued and sold by weightthat includes but is not limited to material transported, unpackaged in large quantities and material that is shipped without a count and in large volume.”

Facilities would be required to pay the fee monthly to the city based on shipping manifests and records determining the tonnage shipped from their premises during that time period.

Although the ordinance, as prepared, called for placing all revenue from the new fee into a newly created fund, Deputy Auditor Marilyn Bosco spoke with the committee and said she would first have to secure permission from the state auditor to create such a fund.

In the interim, the committee agreed the revenue if council passes the ordinance will be placed in the agency fund then be transferred to the new fund.

The tipping fee revenue would be used to defray costs incurred by the city from the operation of these bulk material facilities, according to officials, including destruction to city streets from the heavy truck traffic, liability insurance for potential claims against the city and police and fire calls for emergencies at the facilities.

Any facility that fails to pay the fee will be assessed a penalty of 10 percent of the fee owed, which increases if the delinquency continues.

Additional penalties and fines are also addressed in the legislation.

Committee member Charles Wade questioned whether or not Heritage-Thermal, which operates a hazardous waste incinerator in the East End of the city, would be affected if the tipping fee is imposed, saying he will not support the proposal if so, since the company already voluntarily pays a tipping fee to the city.

“(Heritage-Thermal) is a different animal,” Perorazio said, and Law Director Charles Payne, who prepared the legislation, said he does not believe waste products such as those handled by Heritage-Thermal fall under the definition of bulk materials.

The company currently pays about $200,000 annually to the city based on a percentage of materials it handles, according to Councilman Sherrie Curtis, who said it once paid more but reduced it at some point in the past. There has never been any requirement in place for the company to pay the fee, she said.

The committee agreed to forward the legislation for council’s consideration at its meeting on Tuesday, with Perorazio saying he intends for the ordinance to undergo all three readings to give officials of those companies affected time to comment.

“This is something I think has been needed for years. They tear up so much and give us so little,” Perorazio said, saying other than property taxes and income taxes from their employees, these bulk material handlers do not pay any other fees to the city.

Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday instead of on its normal Monday meeting day due to the Labor Day holiday.