MP solid waste fees could rise
Mt. Pleasant should be in good shape for next year, although solid waste fees may have to rise.
That was the message city council members heard Thursday, during the year’s first meeting of the council’s Personnel and Finance Committee.
Committee members did take on the question of the city’s sanitation costs, with City Administrator Brent Schleisman warning that rising landfill fees could add between $43,000 and $50,000 to its expenses. Raising the city’s monthly base fee on utility customers from $2 to $2.25, and increasing the cost of disposal stickers from $1.25 to $1.50 could make up for the extra cost, he said.
The committee also weighed a 50-cent increase to the base fee to make up the costs of its Spring Cleanup program, on which Schleisman said costs the city about $20,000 per year.
In the past, the program has taken advantage of $8,000 annual credit from the Des Moines County Regional Landfill, where the waste is taken; but Schleisman said that credit may be eliminated because of the landfill’s tight budget.
Moreover, according to Schleisman, the system of using sticker sales to finance the disposal has proven open to abuse and difficult to enforce. “Our research this year was, a lot of people cheat,” he said.
He suggested the additional base fee as a simpler, more effective method of recovering the program’s cost.
Overall, Schleisman said, the city was in good shape. Presenting a draft version of the city’s budget for the 2011 fiscal year, he reported that the city’s department heads did not expect much to change.
For more, see our Jan. 25 print edition.