For 20 years, the city of Avon Lake has been subsidizing trash fees for residents. But with cuts in state funding, the elimination of estate tax and city coffers depleted, the city wants “out of the trash business," especially if it means another $700,000 a year.
In March 1992, the city enacted an ordinance that subsidized rubbish collection for residents. If approves repealing the ordinance in the upcoming weeks, residents will be responsible for paying the entire bill. Mayor Greg Zilka said that would result in an average increase of $6.50 per month per household starting July 1, and residents will begin receiving bills directly from Allied Waste.
Councilman David Kos, who is sponsoring the legislation to repeal the subsidy, said the decision resulted in part from state cuts.
“It’s no secret the state has cut drastically the funding for municipalities,” Kos said. “As a result of that, we have to make decisions that are hard to make.”
“The government should not be subsidizing these bills,” Kos said.
If approved, the repeal would go into effect for the second half of 2012.
Savings to the city would equal $350,000 savings this year, and $700,000 in 2013, the mayor said.
“We’re talking a million dollar swing for next year’s budget,” Zilka said.
Zilka said the savings would counter the $800,000 in upcoming state cuts and the 2013 loss of estate taxes, which totaled about $400,000 in 2011.
“We as taxpayers send a lot of money to Columbus and we’re getting less and less back,” Zilka said. “If we don’t reduce the subsidy we’ll have very serious problems next year.”
“I know in some households that’s difficult,” Zilka said of the increase in bills.
Zilka said without changes, layoffs could happen. He also noted that the city’s AA bond rating, which results in favorable borrowing rates, could be affected.
The $1 discount monthly discount received by seniors would remain in effect if the subsidy is repealed.