Please forgive me if this was raised somewhere else, but can you opt-out of getting a tote, and find other means of garbage removal?
Revised city budget cuts taxes further; city manager explains garbage fees; Vibrant Batavia could be funded
Submitted by Howard Owens on February 5, 2013 - 6:51pm
City Manager Jason Molino informed council members Monday night that he's found another 2.17-percent savings in the city's 2012-2013 budget.
He also shared how he believes some city residents will save money under the proposed changes in garbage collection service.
Molino also proposed making a first-year commitment of $45,000, taken from reserve funds, to back community enhancement plans put forward by the Vibrant Batavia committee.
The new proposed tax rate is $8.95 per thousand of assessed value, which is a 16.42-percent decrease from the 2011-2012 tax rate of $10.71.
For a property owner with an assessed value of $80,000, that is $140.80 savings in tax payments.
As part of the budget presentation during the workshop meeting last night, Molino shared figures based on Batavia's average assessed value for single family homes of $92,000 that showed such a homeowner would save money with proposed changes to the garbage collection service.
City staff is proposing a switch to an automated tote system -- residents would wheel totes out to the curb and a one-man garbage collection truck would drive by and use a lift to pick up the tote and dump trash into the truck.
The lowest bidder to take over the garbage collection under the new system is Allied, based in Arizona. If Allied is awarded the bid, it would end nearly 30 years of garbage collection in Batavia by Genesee ARC.
The actual projected savings are based on Molino's contention that taxes will have to go up if the current program with ARC is continued into 2012-2013.
To continue the current garbage collection system, taxes would need to go up to $11.14 per thousand, Molino said.
He said for a home assessed at $92,000, the property owner would pay $823,40 for a 35-gallon refuse tote. The refuse fee would be $169 annually for a total spent on property taxes and garbage collection of $992.40.
For 2011-2012, that property owner is paying $985.32 in a single bill that covers property taxes with garbage included, so the new system would cost $7.08 more.
However, Molino said the tax rate cannot remain at $10.71 if the council elects to keep ARC without the totes.
The tax rate would have to go up to $11.14, making the tax levy for that $92,000 home $1,024.88 -- or $39.56 over this year's taxes.
Using those numbers, the person who owns a $92,000 home would save $32.48 with a 35-gallon tote. The homeowner would save $3.48 with a 96-gallon tote (which has a refuse fee of $198 annually).
Here's a charge looking at various options:
|Assessed Value||Current tax of $10.71||$8.95 + $169 Fee||Tax Rate of $11.14|
Councilwoman Patti Pacino said she's had constituents raise the issue with her that they don't understand why the city is projecting an increase in garbage collection costs when ARC hasn't been raising their prices.
Molino said the increase is due to annual hikes in the tipping fee costs for refuse disposal at a facility in Riga.
CORRECTION: Molino said ARC has raised rates over the past five years.
Councilman Jim Russell asked why the city has separate contracts for garbage collection and garbage disposal and Molino said the arrangement is unusual, but it was put in place decades ago.
Typically, Molino said, there's just one contract with a refuse collection company, because such a company can usually get better rates from waste facilities (be they dumps or incinerators) because of the greater volume one collection company generates over multiple jurisdictions.
Buying the totes will cost the city about $500,000. The city will borrow the money on what's called a "bond anticipation note." Such a financial scheme allows the city up to five years to pay back the loan or it must issue a bond. The cost of the totes are built into the user fee and will be paid back through the user fee within five years.
The totes have a 10-year warranty, but on average, they should last 15 years, even in Batavia.
Once the totes are paid for, the council will have a decision about what to do with the extra fee being charged -- lower the rate, save it for buying new totes in future years, or a combination of both.
On the issue of Vibrant Batavia: The council will be asked to pass a measure that will create an official committee and fund the projects of Vibrant Batavia for $45,000 for the first year.
Vibrant Batavia is being asked to increase its fundraising commitment from $22,000 to $27,000.
Vibrant Batavia is a community development program that will work on neighborhood revitalization, marketing the city and planning for the city's centennial celebration.
Initially, Vibrant Batavia requested $50,000 a year for three years. The council will review the progress of Vibrant Batavia after the first year and decide whether to fund it further.
"If it goes well, then you're second and third year discussions will be easier," Molino said. "If it doesn't go well, you discontinue it."
Unless you're a business, right Howard?
Mr. Molino has not explained effectively why we cannot opt-out or how this "legal monopoly" is warranted. He is personally holding us hostage to yet a still unfair system. Charge us by the bag and allow us all to opt-out - that is a fair system. If we want to take our trash to Riga or some intermediate exchange station and take our recyclables to a defined exchange station if we'd like, we should not be prohibited from doing so.
Buying the totes on borrowed money is another ploy that does not save us money. As many have already stated, allow consumers to get their own totes - if they choose to engage with a company that utilizes mechanical pickup.
Isn't funny on how another 2.17% savings was magically found in just another week of scrutiny? Where was that scrutiny 6 months ago???
By this lovely little graph, my taxes will actually be will be higher than than the 11.14 rate, so not only will it cost me more, but I get to watch (some) council members self congratulate themselves to a 50% raise.
Yep. That's representative government at its best right there.
Some want to hid behind saving the ARC ..When this more about having to pay more..People are now being ask to share in the cost equally,and for some it might cost more..So they get on the save the ARC bandwagon...What is wrong with sharing the cost equally..How about a compromise and ARC have the contract ,charge little more for the tote..Would that appease the pro ARC crowd...The head of the ARC said this might cause her to lay off 8 people not 30 as some have claimed...ARC does do other things in Batavia then sort trash..
All this does is correct a wrong on having one group of property owners subsidize trash disposal of another..Just as a tax decrease helps a higher assess property more..The other hold true also,when the city for the last 6 years have been raising taxes it has also cost the high assessed property owner more....No one cares then about how it unfairly effected some...Split the cost equally is the only fair way to charge for this service..But we should all have the option using any means we want to get rid of our own trash..That is another reason it should not be part of or taxes...
I'm all for splitting the cost of trash collection equally, That part of the system is broken and should be fixed.
What I'm opposed to is shoving these totes down my throat.
Suppose this proposal goes through. What am I supposed to do with the 2 very fine Rubbermaid trash containers (for which I spent over $60 and which are nearly indestructible) that I currently use? Do they now add to the solid waste stream? I'm in the same boat as most other residents in the city. Most of us already HAS some type of container for our trash. What are we supposed to do with them??
I haven't heard anyone discuss this issue and for me it's just one reason to keep the system as it is now except for the fact that it should be amended so that everyone pays for their own trash collection.
The best way to end the controversy would be to end all lock in contracts. No ARC or Allied or Waste Management. Let us all contract on our own. That has some minuses, but would end this once and for all.
The minuses are that individuals contracting probably will not get as low a rate as group contracting. But competition for your business may offset that.
Another is that you are likely to have garbage trucks on your street every day since each company will probably come around your street on different days.
But you get to pick who you want, what you want and you pay for your own garbage.
No more controversy every 5 years or so. End of problem.
That works for me.
I'd prefer that as opposed to having these GD totes shoved down my throat and being told that my taxes are being reduced when in fact the amount I pay out of pocket will increase.