Jamestown residents to see increases in utility fees

The free 500-pound garbage drop-off will be eliminated.

JSSP City News
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JAMESTOWN – A $5 water distribution fee will be added to the city of Jamestown’s utility bill and the free monthly 500-pound drop-off of inert materials and garbage at the city baler will be eliminated.

The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved on Monday, Dec. 5, the adjustments to utility rates effective in 2023.

With the changes, the average utility bill per month will be $84.81 for residences, $66.98 for mobile homes, $400.32 for commercial multi-unit residences and $461.92 for businesses. That compares to the current average bill of $78.81 for residences, $56.98 for mobile homes, $392.07 for commercial multi-unit residences and $454.07 for businesses.

A $5 flat rate per month for a water distribution fee will be added to all residential and commercial utility bills. At the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee meeting Nov. 22, Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the city of Jamestown is paying 70% of special assessments for four water main replacement projects and money for water utility has to be collected a different way.

With the elimination of the free 500-pound drop-off at the city baler, a minimum of $5 will be charged to anyone dropping off inert materials and garbage. The fee applies to anyone living in or outside the city of Jamestown.


The city of Jamestown will continue to hold citywide curbside cleanup when residents can place items on the roadway near the curb, and city crews will take them away free of charge.

Councilman David Steele suggested having a week where anybody can haul items to the city baler free of charge.

“We have to have some trade off somehow,” he said.

Steele said the city of Jamestown is the only city in the state that currently allows 500 pounds of garbage or inert materials to be dropped off at no charge. He said Bismarck charges a minimum of $3, Dickinson has a $5 minimum flat rate, Valley City charges a minimum of $10, Minot charges anywhere from $3 to $10, and Williston charges $6.75 for everything under 300 pounds and more for anything over 300 pounds.

“I think that we have to move away from this 500 pounds free,” he said. “We have a lot of costs that are incurred whether it be fuel costs and things that are happening as far as our site.”

Heinrich said it is "completely fine" if everybody is getting charged the same rate to bring garbage to the city baler.

Councilman David Schloegel said the landfill space will fill up faster if everyone is allowed to bring items to the city baler for the same charge.

Other changes include at least a 90-cent increase on all residential, commercial multi-unit residential and business commercial garbage accounts, charging all places with 95-gallon containers the same rate, a 10% increase in commercial service rates for regular garbage collection and charging an extra 25 cents from $1.75 to $2 to dispose of fluorescent or mercury-vapor bulbs. The bulk-item fee was also increased from $5 to $10.


The bulk-item fee is generally used by people who cannot drive items to the baler on their own and need someone to do it for them, City Administrator Sarah Hellekson said. Because items disposed under the bulk item fee cannot be mixed with municipal solid waste and must be collected separately and costs the city for the labor, fuel and equipment as well as disposal, it was determined by staff that $5 per item was much too low, she said.

Hellekson said recycling contract costs have increased by 90 cents per collection unit – residence or business – since the program began in 2018. The rate charged for those services has not increased since 2018.

The 90-cent increase will be included on all residential, commercial multi-unit residential and business commercial garbage accounts.

Rental units, mobile homes and businesses will be charged $20.50 for each 95-gallon garbage container. The cost includes the 90-cent increase. The current cost for each 95-gallon container is $15.50 per month for commercial living and rental units and $17.25 per month for mobile homes and businesses.

Residences with 65-gallon containers will see an increase from $16.50 per month to $17.40 per month. Residences with 35-gallon containers will see an increase from $14.25 per month to $15.15 per month.

Standby charges will also increase. A standby charge is a minimum monthly fee to keep a garbage container at a residence in case somebody is gone for a certain period of time. Standby charges for residences will increase from $14.25 to $15.15 per month. Standby charges will increase to 20.50 per month for residential, rental units, mobile homes and businesses. Current monthly standby charges are $15.50 per month for commercial living, rental units and businesses and $17.25 per month for mobile homes.

Related Topics: JAMESTOWN
Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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