By Jackson McMillan
Capital News Service
RICHMOND – A bill allowing Southampton County residents to pay monthly waste disposal fees as part of their electric bills is awaiting a hearing in the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee of the House of Delegates.
House Bill 62, introduced by Delegate Roslyn Tyler, D-Jarratt, would allow Southampton County to enter contractual agreements with light and power companies for the fee collection. The bill would amend Section 15.2-2159 of the Code of Virginia to give Southampton County the same billing options that Accomack, Augusta, Floyd, Highland, Pittsylvania and Wise counties currently have.
“If the legislation is passed — and if the county and the light and power companies may enter into contractual agreements — consumers will pay (the waste disposal) fee in installments as opposed to a one-time annual fee,” Tyler stated in an email.
Only residents who dispose of their solid waste at a county landfill or solid waste collection site would be charged the fee.
Southampton County Board of Supervisors member S. Bruce Phillips, who represents the Capron District, said amending the code is not a hard push to impose any legislation on Southampton’s residents.
“This bill (HB62) is asking the General Assembly for authorization to give Southampton County the ability to enter agreements (with the power companies),” Phillips said. “It allows the board of supervisors to ask the people if they prefer monthly fees to an annual fee.”
If the measure were passed, a monthly waste disposal fee of $16.67 would be added to Southampton County residents’ electric bill in lieu of an annual waste fee of $200.
“The legislation does not obligate or require any light or power company to collect the fee,” Tyler stated. “It only provides that they may.”