SBCO SealSan Bernardino Seal

Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/15/2013 11:06:31 AM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – San Bernardino County officials have dumped an attempt to sue the city over more than $2million in unpaid landfill services fees, according to court records.

The city had stopped paying the fees since filing for bankruptcy Aug. 1, but agreed last week to a repayment schedule and submitted its first payment this week, city officials said.

“We’ve entered into a gentlemen’s agreement with the county over the unpaid invoices,” City Attorney James F. Penman said.

Penman said the repayment money would not come from the city’s general fund – which, even after extensive cuts, was balanced only by deferring about $34 million in payments – but from the integrated waste fund.

Money in that fund comes from residents paying their trash bills, and by law can be used only on trash-related services.

The waste fund was one of several so-called “restricted funds” the city borrowed from in order to pay other bills, which is legal as long as the loan is repaid within a year. The city had borrowed too much from the fund to repay, and therefore also had too little to pay the county to use its landfill, Penman said.

Penman has said he informed the Sheriff’s Department that the money wasn’t repaid and that the City Council wasn’t informed of that.

“I’m not aware of any other restricted funds that we can use to repay other creditors, but in this case this is the fund that should be used,” Penman said.

To read entire story, click here.