The Pekin City Council is considering a garbage free to plug a nearly $2 million annual deficit in the city waste department.
City staff are proposing a 12-dollar fee per household to pay for garbage, yard waste and recycling pick-up. They say the fee would plug a $1.9 million annual hole in the city waste department. Pekin Mayor Laurie Barra says she supports the garbage fee:
“As the deficit goes up for garbage and the general reserves go down, in my way of thinking we have to find a way to get that money back,” Barra says.
The City uses money from its reserves to pay down the waste department deficit each year. City Councilman Chad Schmidgall says he wants to see other options explored before implementing a fee:
“Is there a way that we can cut salary costs by not hiring new people, or by looking at doing a wage freeze or a decrease in wages or an increase in insurance participation, things like that,” Schmidgall says.
The City Council reviews next year’s proposed budget this week. The council must have its Fiscal year 2014 budget in place by May 1st.