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Wausau looks to recoup $10K in dumpster fees

By Carol Kent Wyatt | Washington County News @CAROLKENTWYATT

WAUSAU – The Town of Wausau voted in regular session Thursday, February 18, to bill the Tom Thumb for more than $10,000 of dumpster collection fees incurred between January 2020 to January 2021.

Waste Management has a contract with the Town to provide waste services, with Wausau billing commercial and residential accounts and then Waste Management billing the Town each month.

The Wausau Town Council voted Feb. 18 to charge Tom Thumb roughly $10,000 for dumpster collect feels it hadn't been charged due to an oversite with Waste Management.

Waste Management Public Sector Solutions Manager Ronnie Bell addressed the council, explaining that due to an oversight on Waste Management’s part, the convenience store had not been billed for dumpster collection in more than a year.

Waste Management’s National Accounts team stated in February 2019 that it would take over billing for Wausau’s Tom Thumb due to the department already handling billing for Tom Thumb stores nationwide.

“Unbeknownst to me and [the Town of Wausau], the last time they billed the Tom Thumb was December 31, 2019,” said Bell. “They notified our billing people that we needed to start billing [the Tom Thumb] again, but the breakdown there was that nobody told me or called [the Town] to say that you needed to start billing them – but you paid us. There’s $10,003.56 that you paid us for which no one has ever billed the Tom Thumb.”

The oversight caught the notice of Town Clerk Margaret Riley, who brought it to the attention of Waste Management. Bell formally apologized to the Council, acknowledging the oversight and offering options for rectifying the issue.

The Council ultimately voted to send an invoice to the store, along with an explanation of the charges.

In other business, the Town Council:

• Heard from County Administrator Jeff Massey regarding a future Memorandum of Understanding between the Washington County Board of County Commissioners and the Town of Wausau which would help facilitate the county’s goal of bringing broadband internet to all areas of the county. Massey states the plan is to utilize water towers in the rural communities as sites to install the broadband equipment.

• Established the following departmental liaisons: Water – Carol West; Street – Billy Park; Fire – Judy Carter and Recreation – John Walsingham

• Set the dates for the 2021 town-wide clean-ups for the weeks of May 10, August 23, and December 27. During these weeks, dumpsters will be located behind Town Hall so that residents may dispose of items. Tires, hazardous materials, and any items that may contain freon will not be accepted.

• Approved a request from residents Ray and Patsy Justice to consider closing the unopened portions of the following roads which affect their property: Sixth Street east of Highway 77 where it joins their property; the south half of Fifth Avenue where it joins their property; Jackson Street which runs through their property and Adams Street which also splits their property. As is procedure, the Justices will advertise the proposal, followed by the council taking an official vote on the matter at their next meeting.

• Heard from Wausau Assistant Fire Chief Adam Smith regarding the purchase and installation of a generator and propane tank at the firehouse. The council will seek proposals for comparison on both a 500 and 1,000 propane tank, which would be paid for through existing Legislative Appropriations. The Town will also seek grant funds to pay for the installation of a generator at the firehouse through a USDA Community Facilities Grant. The initial estimate totals approximately $86,000 for both the generator, installation components, and the installation itself.

• Tabled an IT proposal from Holston IT to provide system maintenance and data backup at a cost of $373 a month. Town Clerk Margaret Riley advised the council that utilizing this service would satisfy the auditor’s recommendation that the Town have off-site servers for backing up its financial and other records.

• Was advised that attorneys for the Town and former employee James Oglesby have reached a worker’s compensation settlement, which will be covered through Florida Municipal Insurance Trust. Total costs incurred thus far in the case is approximately $208,000.

Wausau Town Council will meet again in a workshop at 5 p.m., Thursday, March 11, 2021.