Garbage debate in Etowah has residents upset - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Garbage debate in Etowah has residents upset

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ETOWAH, TN (WRCB) -- Mike Becker is still puzzled by the nearly $12 fee for sanitation services tacked onto his $77 electric bill.

The City of Etowah charges that for garbage pickup, but his Squire Courts apartment complex does its own service.

A private company from Englewood,TN works for the complex.

Becker feels like he's paying twice for the same service.

"A lot of people don't consider this a lot of money but in this day and age it is a considerable amount of money for some people," Becker says.

For anyone thinking of skipping the city payment late fees apply.

"You're stuck again," Becker says. "I don't know. I find this to be ridiculous."

We took his concerns to city manager Matthew Gravley who says the pickup fee applies whether the city does the job or not.

It isn't a hidden charge, it's the rule.

"Our charter says that all residents, if they have a water or sewer bill, will be charged for collection," Gravley says.

The garbage fee has been in place since the sanitation department began and the only thing that has changed over the years is the cost.

Becker says his neighbors share his pain.

"They came to the same conclusion, you have to be kidding me," Becker says. "We didn't even realize it."

Becker plans to take his fight to the city.

Several residents signed a petition to have the fee removed.

Gravley says the city isn't the guilty party, in fact, he wants to help.

"They need to take up concerns with the management company," Gravley says. "We are more than happy to collect that refuse."

The residents want the city to consider alternative because as of now, they can not opt-out of the city's fee.

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