The payment rate for residential solid waste collection and disposal in certain parts of Sebastian County is going to go up.

After voting to suspend the rules to go to a second and third reading, the Sebastian County Quorum Court approved an ordinance authorizing a rate increase for residential solid waste collection and disposal within the unincorporated areas of the county during its regular meeting Tuesday. The ordinance will increase rates from the current fee of $14.17 per month per participating household to a fee not to exceed $15.57 per month. The rate includes equipment and services related to two countywide clean-up campaigns per year. It does not include sales tax.

Jim Goodman, general manager for Altes Sanitation, said the company has provided sanitation service for Sebastian County for numerous years. Over the past few years, Altes Sanitation has sustained some increases on items such as oil, tires, insurance and labor. Despite this, the company has never passed anything on to the county.

In a letter to the Quorum Court dated July 30 that was included in the meeting packet, Robert E. Altes of Altes Sanitation stated due to a February rate increase of the Fort Smith Sanitary Landfill, the company has found the need to increase Sebastian County residential rates as well. The company requested a $1.40 increase per customer.

"We apologize for any inconvenience, but we have found we cannot absorb the extra increase without raising rates," Altes stated.  

The ordinance states the agreement between Sebastian County and Altes Sanitation will reflect the increased rate effective Saturday.

JPs also approved a resolution authorizing Sebastian County Judge David Hudson to enter into a memorandum of understanding for funding the 2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program with the city of Fort Smith. 

A letter from the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office addressed to Hudson dated July 26 included in the meeting packet states the Sheriff's Office has been awarded the 2018 grant in the amount of $17,615.40. The grant is shared with the Fort Smith Police Department. It was requested Hudson sign the memorandum of understanding between Fort Smith and Sebastian County that will start the grant process.

The resolution states Fort Smith will receive $41,102.60 for a total grant award of $58,718.

The Quorum Court also reviewed county personnel proposals for 2019.