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SWMA sets guidelines for hangtag hardship applications
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COVINGTON, Ga. - At its Thursday night meeting, the Newton County Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) approved the discount and eligibility guidelines for citizens wanting to submit an application for a hardship waiver for the purchase of a discounted convenience center hangtag.

Citizens approved for the hardship waiver will receive a $45 discount off the regular price of $145 for a full service hangtag, bringing the cost of the tag to $100. Solid Waste Manager Kevin Walter said the $45 amounts to a one third discount on the tag.

To qualify for the discounted tags, citizens need to bring evidence of qualification for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or their tax return or weekly pay stub showing that they are at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines level to the Historic Courthouse where the hangtags are being sold.

In May, the authority approved offering discounted hangtags to citizens who can prove the regular $145 fee for the full service tag will create a financial hardship for them. One dollar was added to the original proposed fee of $144 to go into a separate fund to finance the discounted tags. Walter said the fund currently has approximately $5,000.

He said there are currently two clerks assigned to sell the hangtags and one of those employees will be responsible for the hardship applications.

“People can come to the hangtag office, bring their application and that clerk will review their paper work with them and decide whether to approve or not the application,” he said.

Walter said the clerk will only keep the one page application. He said all proof of income information will be returned to the person who brings it in.

SWMA attorney Sam VanVolkenburg said citizens who have already purchased hangtags for this year can bring the documents in and still receive the discount.