DOBSON — Trash haulers will now pay $100 a year to operate in the county, and the county will push forward in its move to eliminate the use of PayPal.
In May the Surry County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution directing county staff to eliminate all use of PayPal, a payment processing company which has ended plans to expand its operations to North Carolina over concerns about House Bill 2, the controversial “bathroom bill.”
Commissioner Larry Phillips said the company “should not expect taxpayer dollars from the local governments of a state it has boycotted.”
Finance Officer Sarah Bowen told the county board Monday evening only two county departments, the tax office and inspections department, are still using the system.
Bowen said the tax office was working through Sturgis, its software provider, to eliminate the use of PayPal. Sturgis had an exclusive contract with PayPal and will move toward using Forte for Surry County’s business. The cost of the move passed along to the county is still unknown, though it will likely be minimal.
In the inspections department, Bowen offered commissioners two avenues to achieve their goal.
“We knew going in this would be a process,” said Phillips, in explaining he could support a plan which eliminates PayPal’s use by the winter months.
“There was never a fixed date.”
Bowen had explained the county had two options in the inspections department. One was a move which would have eliminated the use of PayPal by August, but it would have cost the county a little more than $7,000. Another was to simply allow the change to the new EnerGov software, which was already in the budget for the next fiscal year, to take effect.
County Manager Chris Knopf noted EnerGov does not use PayPal, and he said the system should be up and running sometime in the winter.
“What you’re saying is we can wait until the winter and make the transition without any additional cost?” asked Commissioner Van Tucker.
Tucker received an answer in the affirmative, and the board indicated a consensus to simply wait until the new software was phased in.
Commissioners also took an offensive step in the county’s “war on litter,” opting to exercise a power not previously used in Surry County.
Knopf explained it is his belief and the belief of others that much of the trash along Surry County’s roadways blows from trucks operated by solid-waste disposal companies. Though the county has the authority to license the companies – which range in size from companies like Waste Management to small companies operated by one or two people – it hasn’t been doing so.
“This will give us some sort of enforcement capability should any hauler become a serial offender,” noted Knopf.
Under the plan passed Monday evening, all haulers will be forced to apply for a license to operate in the county. The cost will be $300 for a three-year license, and each company will have to provide a certificate of liability insurance.
The money gained will go into the landfill enterprise fund, according to Knopf.
The licensing requirement is set to take effect on Aug. 26, and letters and applications will be sent to the 19 known haulers operating in Surry County.
Additionally, in September, Knopf said an amendment to the applicable ordinance will be made which will require every load – those of commercial haulers and those of residents hauling theior own household trash – to be covered. After that happens, county officials will do “spot enforcement” of the new requirements at the landfill and the county’s recycling centers.
The board considered a number of other matters Monday evening, and the budget for the upcoming fiscal year was adopted. Additional coverage of the meeting will be available in future editions of The News.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.