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The Cairo City Council voted unanimously Monday night to continue waiving tipping fees for storm damage and debris brought to the city landfill.
After three weeks of waving the tipping fees, city officials had originally set Friday, March 22 as the end date and had anticipated resuming the charge of tipping fees.
Former city councilman Ernest Cloud Jr., appeared before the council this week on behalf of his church, Bethlehem AME Church, seeking a waiver. According to Cloud, the church is in the process of hiring a contractor to raze the church parsonage, which was significantly damaged by the tornado.
Without a waiver for the tipping fees on the construction demolition, Cloud said the church could not afford to have the work done. The former councilman said that other storm victims could benefit from extending the relief from the tipping fees.
Councilman Jerry Cox said a number of people had attempted to meet the deadline, but a shortage of contractors had prevented many from doing so. Cox asked Cairo city manager Chris Addleton to look into ways of identifying those who are storm victims and extending the period for a waiver of tipping fees for storm victims only.
Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas asked when the city had stopped waiving the fees and questioned how it was determined when to stop. Douglas suggested the time period should be extended and as long as the building inspector could determine it was storm damage, the fees should continue to be waived indefinitely. “We’ve still got folks with damage from Hurricane Michael that hasn’t all been cleaned up,” Douglas added.
The city manager said he was all in favor of waiving fees if storm victims would bring the debris and demolition materials to the landfill rather than the city being responsible for collecting it at the roadside.
Councilman Demario Byrden offered a motion to waive the fees and his motion passed unanimously.