Conrad businesses get increase in garbage fees

   If you, as a business owner, haven’t already received a letter, you will shortly, from the Northern Montana Joint Refuse Disposal District (NMJRDD).
   In it, according to the NMJRDD, Conrad has been under assessed by 14 percent and that amount will be made up by the businesses on the 2009 tax statements.
   The NMJRDD tracks the amount of garbage that is produced within the city limits of each community and compares the tonnage with the number of assessments in each town.
   The annual tonnage for Choteau was 1,220 tons; they are assessed 1,254 units, meaning they are over assessed by three percent.
   Conrad produced 1,866 tons of garbage and is assessed 1,606 units, an under assessment of 14 percent.
   Cut Bank produced 2,729 tons and has 2,760 units assessed, a one percent assessment overage.
   According to the NMJRDD, national industry standards show that the average household produces one half a cubic yard (about 95 gallons or 38.5 pounds) of garbage a week, which converts to 26 yards or one ton of garbage per year.
   Based on these standards, each home in the landfill district is assessed one unit.
   Because of the disparity in tons produced as compared to units assessed, the NMJRDD has worked with the City of Conrad to improve the accuracy of assessments.
   Business assessments are expressed in terms of number of residential equivalents. The garbage assessment is based on the cubic yard volume of the container that the city provides, times the number of pickups per week, divided buy .5 (for the 12 cubic yard residential equivalent).