Submitted by Howard Owens on January 15, 2013 - 1:28am
Information courtesy WBTA:
A big change in garbage pick up, a shake up of the police department and a pay raise for council members are the main features of the proposed city budget.
City Manager Jason Molino told council members about the proposed changes in garbage collection, dubbed PAYT for "pay as you throw," which will remove garbage collection from property owners' tax bills and have users of the service foot the bill.
The user fee will extend to nonprofit agencies and churches.
"You pay for what you throw away," Monlino said. "So, if you want a smaller tote or larger tote, you are going to pay respectively. If you throw away more, you are going to pay more. You throw away less, you are going to pay less. Another aspect of the program is unlimited recycling, and that also has the ability to help control your costs of what you throw away."
The automated system -- one-driver trucks will use a mechanical arm to pick up the totes -- will also help reduce costs, Molino said.
The apparent lower bidder for the program is Allied/Republic, a national waste management company headquartered in Phoenix. The company operates in 39 states and has 30,000 employees according to its Web site.
Allied/Republic submitted the lowest of four bids at $4.34-million dollars over the next five years.
Genesee ARC, which had been providing the service to the city for nearly 30 years, bid 4.99-million dollars. It appears ARC's bid was the highest.
ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski said the loss of the city contract hurts the human services agency:
"I will have to lay off between 8 and 10 people," Saskowski said. "The agency will loose $800,000 in revenue, and we will have to find different jobs for the people with disabilities."
Saskowski said half of the people expected to lose jobs have some form of developmental disability.
The 2013-2014 proposed budget technically calls for a reduction in the city tax rate from $10.71 to $9.15. However, when the average cost of the garbage fee is factored in, Molino said the impact on the average homeowner will be a “wash.”
A big change in police department operations will save about $10,000, according to Molino.
Currently, the supervisory structure of the department includes three lieutenants. The lieutenant position will be eliminated, replaced by two police officers, a sergeant and a deputy chief.
The deputy chief position will be non-union.
The current lieutenants, Eugene Jankowski, Jim Henning and Greg Steele, have elected to retire rather than accept a demotion to sergeant, Molino told council members.
As for council members, a raise for the elected officials approved 6-3 in February, will be instituted, increasing compensation from $2,000 per year to $3,500 per year, beginning April 1.
The only way pay raises could be prevented, Molino said, was for the council to vote down the entire budget proposal or opt to pull the pay raise allocation from the budget plan and vote on it separately.
Council members Patti Pacino and Pier Cipollone said on Monday night they would not support a pay raise. Both had supported the pay raise measure in the February vote.
UPDATE: The city has posted all available documents about the changes to garbage collection .