Residents gathered for the second public hearing for a parcel fee that could save the local recycling center

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A proposed property tax to help fund local recycling operations again drew mixed reactions at its second public hearing.

The parcel fee is part of the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District’s 15-year financial plan, which includes purchasing and running the Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers.

The Solid Waste District's second public hearing on the proposed parcel fee
Solid Waste District director Jane Forrest Redfern discussed the rationale for implementing the parcel fee. [Lucy Schaefer | WOUB]
The fee would be $24 annually on each improved structure in Athens and Hocking counties that uses district services.

The recycling center became at risk of shutting down after Athens signed with another garbage hauler, Rumpke, in November. The city was the center’s biggest customer.

The Solid Waste District came up with the parcel fee to make up for the lost revenue.

Some residents who attended the hearing at the Nelsonville Public Library on Tuesday said keeping local control over waste is important.

“I hope people will accept it as part of living in a community and supporting something that the county has invested in,” Alexa Ross said.

Others said they shouldn’t have to pay for services they don’t use.

“It really seems like we’re twisting ourselves up in knots over something we want versus something we need,” Chris Cooper said.

The next opportunity for public comment on the fees will be July 11 at the Hocking County Fairgrounds Youth Building.