Fate of Athens Hocking Recycling Center may rest on a proposed property fee

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – Efforts to save the Athens Hocking Recycling Center may hinge on a proposed fee on property owners.

The fee would apply to all properties with structures on them in Athens and Hocking Counties.

The amount of the fee has not yet been determined.

The Athens Hocking Solid Waste District is considering imposing this parcel fee to raise money to purchase the recycling center.

The recycling center is at risk of shutting down after losing its garbage collection contract with the city of Athens late last year.

Jane Forrest Redfern, the district’s director, told the Policy Committee Wednesday night that the fee is essential for the survival of the recycling center.

The fee was initially proposed at $12 annually. But after a re-evaluation of the number of parcels in the counties, Redfern suggested doubling the tax to $24. 

“Anyone who has an improved parcel has to pay the same amount,” Redfern said. An improved parcel is one with a structure on it.

Wednesday night’s meeting saw debate among committee members about the proposed increase, with objections about the fee being too high.

The committee agreed they needed a final price for the recycling center before they came to a conclusion on the size of the fee. Athens Hocking Recycling Center Executive Director Crissa Cummings said she doesn’t have the price yet because the matter is fairly new.

The AHRC board will meet June 10th at noon to discuss this number.

The policy committee approved a motion to have another meeting June 12th at 6 p.m. to agree on the parcel fee amount after Cummings and the AHRC report a price for the facility.

The district’s board of directors, which consists of the county commissioners from Athens and Hocking counties, are expected to vote on the fee the week of July 15.