West York hikes trash fee for second time in three months
The West York Borough Council voted Monday September 4-3 to increase the quarterly garbage fee by $ 10 and raise the fee for each unit to $ 95 per quarter.
The same motion failed 4-3 at the previous council meeting, but Councilor Mildred Tavarez, who voted against the raise at the March 1 meeting, was absent on Monday and Mayor Bruce Vick broke the 3-3 draw in favor of the Increase.
“I understand what everyone is talking about, I really do,” Vick said of the objections. “But even here we can’t just continue to pull money out of nowhere to pay bills.”
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Along with Vick, Councilors Lisa Gross, Alan Vandersloot and Vice President Wayne Leedy voted in favor of the increase. Council members Linda Heiner, Regina Scott and President Mary Wagner voted no.
The sharp drop in tax revenue and refusal to pay, as well as other financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, have forced the district to downsize and raise fees in recent months to help cover costs.
However, the council disagreed on how to deal with the garbage fee.
This is the second $ 10 increase in three months after the Council increased the waste fee from $ 75 to $ 85 per quarter in December under the 2021 budget.
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Wagner said it was difficult to know what to do to generate more revenue as the district exhausted all legal options for collecting overdue bills.
By early March, more than 35% of the district’s residents hadn’t paid their quarterly trash bills for several months, district chief Shawn Mauck said.
But Wagner also said that the district’s residents can’t afford another increase, and if the cost continues to rise, the people paying their bills will get fed up and stop paying too.
“It’s not right to pass it on to the person who pays their bill every month, every quarter, every year,” she said. “Property taxes, refuse … it’s not right.”
The district’s contract with garbage trucking company Republic Services ends after this year, and Vick said the district’s costs could go up significantly depending on how much Republic or other companies are willing to bid for the district’s business.
Mauck said he was looking at how much it would cost the district to buy two garbage trucks and hire its own staff to haul the district’s trash around the house rather than paying an outside company.
The benefit of the in-house service would be that the community could make sure that any rubbish is picked up on time, he said.
“The devil is always in the details of things like this,” said Mauck. “We need to make sure we can afford the people and the benefits and how we would structure this program.”