Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, in Lafayette . . . . .

West Lafayette currently has a $9.00 a month trash fee that was put in place in 1993. There is now some discussion about raising that fee. (Local haulers charge $18.00 a month.)

As chair of the City’s Street and Sanitation Committee, I will not recommend an increase in the monthly trash fee. If proposed by others, I will oppose raising this fee. So many of the residents of District #2 are retirees in small homes living on fixed incomes that a fee increase would be a burden. You generate small amounts of trash and are pretty meticulous recyclers. You hardly ever throw out a couch. This is a tax increase by another name. I will oppose an increase in the trash tax.

If the city needs to raise revenue to cover trash costs, I would suggest a “start-up” fee, a device used by local private haulers. Some of you have suggested trash be “metered”. Therefore, I would consider a three-tiered fee schedule that reflected the real cost of trash hauling in our neighborhood; perhaps “commercial”, “residential”, and “homestead exempt”. “Homestead” would be the lowest of the three. I would return to the consideration of a per bag/can fee that might accurately reflect usage. I would discuss a fee for bulk items.

If this fee increase is simply a way to grow a less controversial revenue stream to avoid confronting the need for the annexation levee deemed by some as unnecessary, I am opposed.
If this fee is a way of raising revenue without this administration seeming to back-pedal on campaign promises to “cut waste”, “cut fat”; I am opposed. (Just once I would like to hear a politician admit this phrase is hollow.)

And of course, trash pick-up is paid for from the general fund in Lafayette.

FYI: Low-income? Apply for a trash rate reduction! Contact me and I’ll send you a form.

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