City Proposes Fee Increase

As the first step in setting the ’03-’04 budget, City Manager Gary O’Connell has presented his $93MM budget proposal, which includes several fee increases. In specific, vehicle decals would increase by $8.50, trash stickers would double in price (to $2 for a full-sized bag) and the meals tax would increase by $0.01 per dollar. On the other end of things, each city department cut their budget by 5%, resulting in a bunch of small money-saving ideas such as cutting the grass less and not putting postage on parking ticket envelopes. Elizabeth Nelson has the story in today’s Progress. This is just the first step in the multi-month budget process. Any comments can be posted on the budget forum, sent to Clerk of Council Jeanne Cox, or, of course, posted here…but there’s no guarantee that they’ll do any good here. :)

22 thoughts on “City Proposes Fee Increase”

  1. Down with bus advertising. It’s not worth $70k/year for our buses to look like hell. Plus, I don’t know if that figure factors in the need for having somebody at the city in the business of selling and managing advertising, or giving a percentage to an advertising haus.

    OK, now somebody argue with me. :)

  2. Waldo,

    There are ads on the exterior and interior of the buses right now as well as some of the bus shelters. The ones inside are mostly for local non-profits and the ones on the exteriors are pushing CTS. Are these okay with you?

    Kevin Cox

  3. Trash increase? Nice move! Now, we can look forward to even more trash everywhere but at the official dumps. I tell ya – decadence.

  4. I think any increase in illegal dumping will mostly be seen in city supplied trash cans on the street. The one on Market next to the new building across the street from Lexis’ garage is now regularly full of household trash. When that can was put there an employee of public works told me that it would be removed if too much household trash was put in it

    Kevin Cox

  5. So the disposal of 1 bag of trash is equal, grosso modo, to 1 hour of after-tax minimum wage? Hey, I guess the poor’s grocery stores will be closer to home, at least. Now this is what I call market efficiencies at work!!!

  6. what a load of bullshit! what’s all that money going to be used for? more efficient snow removal? better water management initiatives? or is it just designed to piss people off?

  7. what a load of bullshit! what’s all that money going to be used for?

    Writes Elizabeth Nelson in the Progress:
    “Doubling trash sticker fees would bring the city’s trash removal and recycling program closer to self-sufficiency. It also would provide funds for cleanup of the Ivy Landfill.

    “Trash sticker fees were increased last year. The new rates still would be below the cost of hiring a private hauler, O’Connell said.”

  8. $2 per large trash bag seems awfully high to me. I live in the county, and we pay $20 per month for pickup. At the city’s rates, that would be 2.5 full-size bags per week, and we easily exceed that. I can’t believe our trash service is not making a profit, and I imagine they have to pay the same dumping fees the city does – if not more. They also have to pay taxes on their equipment that the city isn’t required to pay.

    Perhaps best of all, we don’t have the relative inconvenience of having to remember to pick up stickers when I’m running low. And when we have an excess of refuse due to a party, spring cleaning, or whate4ver, there’s no extra charge.

    I’m not saying this is an example of city mismanagement (I’m also not saying it isn’t), but it’s certainly an example illustrating that the private sector can often do it better and cheaper, at least in this isolated case.

    I’m wondering if the city has recently put the issue out to bid – does anybody know?

  9. Proper trash handling is one of the costs of CIVILIZATION.

    1. Trash disposal for households should be free (= paid for by taxes)

    2. Improper trash disposal should be fined very heavily (= alleviate tax burden and make pay those who are destoying America from within)

    In my dreamworld, cops do not issue speeding tickets for minor infractions, but they do hide to catch people throwing things out of their windows and pickup trucks. This won’t happen, but it feels good pretending…

  10. The point of paying for trash stickers was to encourage recycling. By this reasoning, $2 per trash sticker will make us twice as ecological. Fifty dollars per sticker will close every landfill and save every whale. Raise the price to $500 and George Bush will vacate the White House and go tend the hemp patch in a kibbutz with Saddam Hussein.

  11. I’ve missed the advertising. I enjoyed having something to read when I was stuck behind a bus!

  12. $93MM budget this year, $88MM budget last year. That comes to a 5% increase in spending, despite the smoke and mirrors about 5% reductions within departments.

    The proposed tax increases would pay for "schools", "safety", blah, blah, blah. The proposed increases pay for the convenience to City Council and Management to not have to hold the line on spending, let alone make reductions.

    Set aside the sound bites, look at the math. More isn’t less — they’re just trying to convince us it is and too many citizens are buying it.

  13. Waldo in his underwear?

    Go a dollar, maybe more.

    To see him naked? For bare

    Sin– we’d pay three, maybe four.

    Could we venture for a touch?

    Nope: a fondle costs too much.

  14. Public art should be uplifting

    Stripping Waldo is a nifty

    Way to uplift some. In the end,

    Though-we’re outbid by his girlfriend.

  15. I think it useful to say to Waldo that these rather silly bits of doggeral are doubtless meant kindly, gentle ribbing in a genial spirit, and signify only that there are some readers of his website with far too much time on their hands.

  16. when stickers were introduced i liked the idea. pay for trash, recycling is free. get people to reduce waste and recycle more. you pay for the amount of trash you use.

    now the recycling is far more difficult which hurts the whole process. on the whole, though, if you pay for your volume, you just have to reduce your volume.

    and if the city officials are correct, we’re paying less than half what it costs for removal right now.

  17. "on the whole, though, if you pay for your volume, you just have to reduce your volume"

    Yeah, that’s what the thinking was for water consumption…

  18. It seems to me, in the continued search to evade responsibilities, ‘conservatives’ (a misnomer, if I’ve ever heard one) are assaulting and finally defeating the very systems that have made the U.S. the world power it is. In this micro-case example of waste management, as municipalities are all individually responsible, there’s little employment of critical mass principles.

    Can you imagine the cumulative costs and anarchy if the U.S. military were to have to handle all aspects of their operations on an individual unit basis? Do you think America would have the weapons and capabilities it now claims if every contingent were to have to develop and pay for its own equipment and weaponry? Wed be shooting arrows and cannon balls still. Well, although this imagery is a little over the top, these concepts are working against are communities in terms of waste management.

    1. As Ive said, people should not have to think twice, or scrounge for cash, before handling their trash: it should be an invisible cost that is shouldered by everyone.

    2. By managing this most necessary operation on a collective level, and I mean either state or even federal, critical mass could be employed for all aspects of operations, from collection to disposal to equipment development, purchasing and amortization to employment to energy transformation and capture from waste disposal etc.

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