North County homeowner faces $900 trash fee for vacant home -

North County homeowner faces $900 trash fee for vacant home

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The owner of a vacant home in the North St. Louis County village of Hillsdale is facing a $900 bill for trash pickup services, despite the fact the home has been empty for eight years.

Warren Jeffries told News 4 he received a letter in the mail saying he must appear in court for a trash bill. If he doesn’t pay, there could be a warrant placed for his arrest.

"I want to put up a fight,” Jeffries said. “Why should I have to pay 900 dollars for services that are not being rendered?"

Hillsdale City Attorney Alan J Baker defended the charges, telling News 4 property owners are billed a flat fee of $120 at the beginning of the year, even if no one lives there.

“They’ve got to pay. If they choose not to use it, that’s their decision. That’s not the village’s decision,” Baker said.

News 4 has reported on the crackdown on traffic fines since the passage of Senate Bill 5, which limits a major source of revenue for many municipalities. However, the new law only puts limits on traffic fines.

Baker denied Hillsdale’s trash fines are tied to that, arguing there is a fee the city pays for trash services, and that has to be passed onto property owners.

“What are they to do, just let the trash accumulate on the sidewalk and the streets and the backyard? Ludicrous.” Said Baker.

Jeffries is due in court next Thursday.

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