Councilor seeks input on modified garbage fee proposal
After the Superior City Council rejected a $9.75 per month fee for garbage collection at its Aug. 18 meeting, Councilor Graham Garfield proposed a new ordinance that would implement the fee in three steps from $7.75 per month in January 2016, $8....
After the Superior City Council rejected a $9.75 per month fee for garbage collection at its Aug. 18 meeting, Councilor Graham Garfield proposed a new ordinance that would implement the fee in three steps from $7.75 per month in January 2016, $8.75 per month in 2017 to $9.75 per month by January 2018.
Garfield hosts a public forum at the Superior Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Monday to outline his proposal and to accept public questions and input.
His proposal aims to bridge the gap between councilors who wanted to set a lower rate and revisit it later and those concerned that a lower rate would not solve the expected budgetary shortfall for garbage collection and landfill operations.
“Three councilors including myself supported starting with a $7.75 fee and revisiting it if needed,” Garfield said. “But four other councilors were firm about a $9.75 fee. It is my hope that this plan will bring a majority into agreement and keep our collection services city owned and operated”.
Garfield’s plan has several advantages, including giving the public time to adjust to paying a higher fee and still creating enough revenue to keep the city’s Landfill Budget stable.
His plan also includes a much-needed reduced rate option for a lower-capacity garbage receptacle. At $6.75 per month starting in 2016, the city would offer some residents a 32-gallon or similar sized receptacle. This option would appeal to seniors, families with low income and the environmentally conscientious. Households would need to demonstrate a lower level of trash production in order for Public Works to consider them for the smaller receptacle and lower rate. Garfield does not anticipate needing to raise the reduced rate during the three-year transition.
Garfield regrets the need to add a fee but believes that with these revisions the ordinance will be both responsible governance and acceptable to most residents. He believes it can pass the special meeting on Tuesday, allowing the city government to put landfill budgetary woes behind them.