Council lowers recycling cost
After reconsidering sanitation rates that were approved at its June 17 meeting, the Washington City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to lower the recycling charge from $5.85 to $5.60.
During a special work session, council member Bob Shepherd made a motion to reconsider the rate, saying that the rate was too high. The rate was increased from $4.50 to $5.85, beginning in August. The rate had been approved with the idea that the additional money would increase reserves in the fund and be used for other services, such as curbside leaf pickup, that were being paid out of the city’s streets fund.
“I feel that the reason we have reserves is as insurance,” Shepherd said. “What we are dealing with is contractual services, which means we won’t have surprises. I would rather see the reserve lower.”
He said that he has had three people wonder how to opt out of recycling due to the increased rate. He said the city wants people to be recycling. He also said the city would be remiss if it kept too large a reserve.
Mayor Sandra Johnson said that the city hoped to make recycling “pay its way,” or that the cost should reflect the expense.
“The other side of the issue for me is the consumer doesn’t understand that right now we are using road use funds for things that should be funded through sanitation rates,” Johnson said.
Shepherd said that he disagreed with the services being funded out of sanitation funds.
In other business, the council:
• gave consent to drafting a resolution gifting East Sixth Street east of North Seventh Avenue to Washington County;
• discussed urban chicken permits;
• heard a presentation on a possible future industrial park;
• discussed purchasing policy;
• approved a notice to redeem from a tax sale to Blue Hills Trust;
• approved the third reading of a Tax Increment Finance district ordinance; and
• held a closed session to discuss pending litigation.