Garbage fee increase needed for other programs

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF It’s a proposal that’s been tossed out this budget season a five percent increase in garbage fee raising the rate by to 326 dollars a year.

“It’s the first I heard when they can’t impose new taxes they just impose new fees it’s eating us up,” said Jim Showman.

The increase would bring in almost one million dollars to the landfill’s budget.

A budget that commissioners have put pressure on.

The landfill is responsible for the 400-thousand dollar program to tear down blighted buildings, also the costs of cutting overgrown lots,

The landfill also pays a franchise fee to the city’s general fund, two years ago commissioners voted to increase that by one and a half percent.

The things that impacted  us one our contracts with the haulers have gone up two we’ve increased franchise fees that will  pay and three we’ve absorbed external programs like demolition and mosquito control and the like,” said Landfill Director Mark Johnson.

Critics say   garbage fees should cover the costs of pickup, not other programs.

“You make people mad when you start moving money from different budgets especially if we’re going to get a raise in our rates,” said activist and former mayoral candidate Lori Davis.

Commissioner Sean Frantom says instead of raising garbage rates cut to the landfill’s one point seven million dollar franchise fee.

‘Let’s cut his franchise fee and in lieu fees by one million dollars that’s what he’s short through the trash and lets cut it so he doesn’t pay it back to the general fund let’s find a million dollars out of the general fund,” said Frantom.

Some other cuts, somewhere else?” Absolutely,” said Frantom.

 

City leaders will hold another budget work session Thursday in advance of the scheduled November 15th vote on the 17 budget.

Now under a 2013 city resolution the Landfill Director has the authority to raise garbage rates annually to an amount equal to the consumer price index, something the landfill director hasn’t done the last three years.

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