The Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Monday discussed the possibility of dissolving the Hancock County Solid Waste Authority board.
The solid waste board is made up of representatives from the county and the cities of Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and Diamondhead. It is only a recommending body and it's decisions must be approved by the board of supervisors.
The solid waste authority is primarily funded through a 2.57 mil levy to all tax payers in the county.
Supervisors turn the proceeds of the tax levy over to the authority, which uses it in its yearly budget.
The solid waste authority solicits a contract for garbage disposal, recycling, and landfill services.
For garbage collections, the cities charge property owners a fee on their monthly utility bills to reimburse the authority for those costs.
The solid waste authority is administered by a private contractor. It also pays for engineering and legal fees out of its budget.
Board of Supervisors President Blaine LaFontaine said dissolving the authority would eliminate the administration, engineering, and legal fees, thus saving at least $125,000 a year.
He proposed that the county absorb the administration functions and use inter-local agreements with the cities using an invoice system for the collection costs.
He said he does not believe it would create much additional work for county employees.
"We are already doing a lot of that stuff now," he said.
Hancock County Tax Assessor/Collector Jimmie Ladner said Monday that he believes more research needs to be done on the effects of dissolving the authority.
Ladner said he was concerned that the county may not be able to get the same contract prices if dissolves the authority.
"We are talking about a quarter mil in savings which is only $2.50 for every $100,000 of property value," Ladner said. "If we lose the power to collectively bargain, the contracts for collection may be higher, causing monthly bills to go up."
Waveland Mayor Mike Smith said Tuesday that he thinks the solid waste authority is good for the county and cities.
"I'm for anything that will reduce costs while maintaining the same services, however, I think we get some very competitive prices by speaking as a whole," Smith said. "I'm not saying that is going to go away, but I think it at least needs to be considered."
Supervisors did not vote on the issue on Monday and said they would discuss it with the cities.
LaFontaine said the idea of dissolving the authority is just one of many ways he feels the county can save money.
"This is just keeping with the theme of trying to be more efficient, while reducing costs when possible," he said.