SWANN Rates Going Up For Second Straight Year


       SWANN, the Solid Waste Agency of Northwest Nebraska, is raising rates for the second year in a row but only the third time in the last dozen years.

The higher rates, which are still among the lowest in Nebraska, take effect with the July bills.

        The SWANN board last night approved an increase of $2.30 for residential customers with collection services, bringing the rate to $27.50 per month. That rate had gone up 95-cents last year.

      Commercial rates for large dumpsters and collection will go up $8.70 to $80, and rates for rural residents – who pay only for landfill-related costs – are increasing $2.00 to $16.00. Rural rates went up 55-cents a year ago.

       SWANN Executive Director Jake Stewart says the rate hike reflects higher costs for such things as equipment repairs and replacement, fuel, utilities, and insurance but also replacing the garbage baler, which is over 60-years old, and the building housing it.

Stewart says the rate increase was figured into how much money SWANN will need to borrow through bonds for the new baler and building as well as related equipment.

The SWANN board also approved the budget for the year starting June 1st. It’s going up $205,000 to $2.1-million dollars, but the figures are a bit misleading.

      When the current year’s budget was adopted, Stumph Sanitation handled trash collection in Crawford. The company dropped its contract later in the year and SWANN took over collection services just as it does in its other member towns.

     The new budget now includes both the collection costs and revenue from Crawford – a wash in budget terms, but one that increases both sides of the ledger by equal amounts.