Superior suspends landfill fees for Douglas County
Preliminary cleanup of mobile home parks on Douglas County Highway E in Parkland generated $17,769 in landfill fees.
SUPERIOR — When Douglas County took two trailer parks in Parkland for back taxes last year, they also had a hefty bill to clean up the property.
Nearly $30,000 in clean up costs didn’t include $17,769 in landfill fees for the trash Douglas County highway crews hauled to the Superior Municipal Landfill, prompting county officials to seek a reprieve.
The city’s finance committee on Thursday, Feb. 9, approved suspending the fees until the county is made whole for costs associated with the property.
“The city and county have worked hand in hand,” Douglas County Board Chairman Mark Liebaert said. What’s good for the city is usually good for the county, he said, and has served as the reason county officials have worked cooperatively with the city on various projects.
Over the years, the county has given tax-deeded properties to the city at no cost so the city could redevelop or improve the sites.
“I strongly support waiving these fees for the reason the chairman mentioned,” Mayor Jim Paine said. “… The city gets quite a bit of reclaimed land from the county. In almost all of those cases, the county waives significant fees for the back taxes and other fees they have assessed on those properties, and we’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit of development.”
Councilor Jack Sweeney, chairman of the finance committee, asked Liebaert if he would be opposed to paying the fees in the event the county was able to recover cleanup costs.
“I hate to say it, but we don’t expect to recover any money off this,” Liebaert said.
In addition to the cleanup that has been done so far, he said officials are still considering how to address 30 mobile homes that remain at the site, many with asbestos, which are projected to cost about $150,000 to remove. The property, as it stands, has only been valued at $20,000.
The committee agreed to suspend the fees indefinitely unless the county recovers its expenditures.
Liebaert said when the county disposes of the land, he would be happy to report back to the committee what costs, if any, the county is able to reclaim.