“An increase implemented late and without proper notice…” said Public Works Minister, Lt. Col David Burch today following complaints from landscapers and members of the public regarding the recently implemented increase in tipping fees at Marsh Folly and the Airport Dump.
Minister Burch said, “Since becoming aware of this issue, I have taken the time to gather all of the facts before making any public comment. As a result I can advise the public of the following important points:
- Any increases in Government fees must have the approval of the Legislature and traditionally are executed as part of the annual budget process in February of each year.
- In this particular case the Legislature passed unanimously, that is to say, without objection from the Opposition, the Government Fees Amendment Regulations 2019 in March of this year to become effective April 1st, 2019.
- These fees cover a variety of government services not just tipping fees and a copy is attached for ease of reference.”
Minister Burch continued, “ I understand from the Ministry’s technical officers that as a result of a computer programming problem, those fees were unable to be programmed into the system at that time and so they were not implemented as expected by me and by the Legislature who had considered and passed the fees. Several public officers have been working to correct the problem but none made senior management of the Ministry aware of the issue. It took 6 months to solve the problem and without notice, the fees were activated on October 1st.”
“The Minister of Finance is responsible for the Government Fees Regulations and as such, I have consulted with him and can confirm that he has agreed to continue with the original fees to October 31st, 2019; thereafter, the revised fee structure will come into effect.”
Noting that the fees have not been increased in several years, Minister Burch added, “The operations at both locations (Marsh Folly and the Airport Dump) are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer – even with the marginal increases. The fees for services at Marsh Folly have been staggered to better reflect the amount of foliage being delivered there in order to bring equity between an intermediate trucker and a trailer truck – all of whom pass the haulage fees on to the customer.
“In this case, I wish to apologise for the inconvenience and confusion caused especially in the wake of the recent hurricane and all the work ongoing to restore Bermuda’s beauty.”