Valpo to vote on increase in trash fees
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 18, 2012 11:40PM
Updated: September 20, 2012 10:06AM
VALPARAISO — Monthly garbage fees will likely increase come October, with residential fees going from $9 to $12 per month and business fees from $12 to $15.
Public Works Director Matt Evans proposed the increase to the City Council last week, and the council will have a public hearing on it Aug. 27. The council could vote on it then or at the next meeting, but Evans wants the council to pass it in time for the October water bills.
The last time the rates were raised was in June 2005, to help with road repairs around town.
“Everything since seven years ago has risen in price,” Evans said.
Collecting garbage costs about $15.51 per household for wages, gas, insurance, tipping fees and other expenses, he said. However, residents won’t see their rates increase that much.
“Going from $9 to $12 is a nice but not overwhelming jump,” Evans said. “It’s not going to shock the patrons.”
The fees for those who apply for low-income rates would stay at $6 a month. The city has about 45 people on that plan.
Council member Joey Larr said he would probably vote against the increase. “I’m not in favor of raising the fees right now. I think there are other alternatives,” he said.
Evans said transfer station and fuel costs are on the rise and that he can’t maintain the road service at current fees. “Why run at 60 percent of cost?” he said.
Creating garbage pickup fees that are charged on the water bill came about to fix the excessive number of city streets that needed repairs, Mayor Jon Costas said.
Evans said the money from the fees goes into his general fund to pay for garbage pickup, but he takes an equal amount out of the general fund to pay for road repairs. “The bottom line is the money goes to the roads,” Evans said.
Evans got permission from council members to use some of the road work money on sidewalk work and pathways through town.
The new ordinance will also give the Department of Public Works the ability to issue citations, similar to code enforcement. The citation would be for people who leave garbage cans out more than 24 hours and people who leave materials on the curb the city doesn’t collect, like roofing shingles, which are considered a hazardous waste.