Monday, March 2, 2009

Trash Fee Hike: 60 Cents a Month?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:44 PM

We've mentioned a few times recently that City Council members may be asked to raise the city's trash fee—a politically dicey proposition, since most of the current members have opposed the fee, or at least complained that it costs too much. (Or at least that it cost too much when Republicans on an earlier council created it.)

Well, the memo requesting a hike in the trash has finally arrived.

Andy Quigley, the city’s new director of Environmental Services, has done what he can to lower spending in his department. He’s cut one civil engineer from the staff, along with enough other employees to save a million dollars a year. He’s not paying down the department’s bond debt this year. He’s saving $2.3 million by putting off the purchase of new garbage trucks.

But the market for recycled materials is declining and private waste companies are dumping garbage elsewhere, so the department isn’t bringing in as much money as it had hoped. So Quigley is asking the council to boost the $14-a-month trash fee by 60 cents.

That comes on top of recent increases in your sewer bill by the Pima County Board of Supervisors and a request for higher water rates that will be considered by the Tucson City Council.

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