The Jefferson County Commission on Nov. 26 approved a resolution establishing a Capital Improvement Fund for the Jefferson County Solid Waste District.

They did not discuss any related fees that would be passed on to residents. Commissioner Bob Mullen later told The Monitor that they would likely do so early in 2020, and estimated an annual fee increase of $15 starting July 1, 2020.

The state-authorized fund will allow the County to replace and acquire property, facilities or equipment used to collect and transport solid waste that costs in excess of $5,000 and has a life expectancy of five years or more.

Montana law allows the capital improvement fund to receive money from any source, and “requires money in the capital improvement fund to be invested according to law with interest and income from the investment being credited to the capital improvement fund.”

At the meeting, County Attorney Steve Haddon said the resolution re-establishes an earlier fund following the Montana Legislature’s recodification of the fund’s underlying statutes.

“It’s going to take a while to build some cash in there, but if we’ve got to buy a $200,000 piece of equipment this will ease the load a little bit,” he said.

Under the resolution’s terms, Brian Hohn, the County’s solid waste manager, has 90 days from its passage to present the commissioners with a plan that outlines the department’s anticipated expenditures and uses of capital improvement funds.

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