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Follansbee considers raising garbage collection rate
Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 01:23 PM EDT
By Jennifer Black
A possible rate hike for garbage collection could be coming to Follansbee. Council members say the city has not upped its garbage collection rate in more than 20 years, and some council members say the time is now so they can use the money they’re missing out on to better the city in other ways.
“When we're losing between $120,000 and $140,000 a year, something’s gotta be done,” First Ward Councilman Skip Cutrone said.
Currently the garbage collection rate sits at $6.50 a month. The proposed increase would up it by $2 to $8.50 the first year. The second year it would be upped another $2 to $10.50.
The rate would increase by $10 over the two years for businesses.
Cutrone and two others, including the mayor, voted in favor, but their vote was matched by three no’s.
“Some of the council people didn't feel like we should put it back on the citizens," Cutrone said.
Cutrone believes the proposed rate increase is actually better than the alternative.
“There are private garbage companies charging $14.50 a month,” Cutrone said.
Lisa Chuma has lived in Follansbee since 2003 and said the rate increase isn’t unreasonable. She added that she has lived elsewhere and had to pay much more for pickup.
“This is actually a break for me, with me being low-income and everything,” Chuma said. “I'm not complaining for two dollars, and the guys are great. Whenever something needs picked up, they pick it up,” Chuma said.
Cutrone says the money the city is paying now to subsidize the garbage department could instead be used in other ways, like tearing down dilapidated houses and paving the streets.
The plan will receive two more readings, and residents will get a chance to voice their opinion on the matter at the next city council meeting, the first Monday of November. If it passes, it would not take effect until 2014.