Residents could pay for trash, lights

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – Residents here may have to pay more money to have their garbage hauled.

Emergency Financial Manager Joyce Parker said she is considering levying a $15-per-household fee for rubbish hauling, as due to falling property values, the city’s current 3 mills for rubbish hauling leaves it $200,000 short of paying for its contract this year with Republic Waste Services.

Plante & Moran’s Carl Johnson said he estimates that as property values continue to drop, the millage ultimately will leave the city $400,000 short by the end of the five-year contract.

“The three mills was thought at one time to be more than sufficient to cover rubbish,” Johnson said, “But no one could predict the 30, 40, or in our case 60 percent decrease in taxable value, therefore it’s not there.”

Prior to signing the contract in July, city officials had discussed altering the contract to include rubbish hauling every other week instead of every week, but the change was not made in the most recent contract.

Johnson said if approved by Parker in time, the fee could show up on the December tax bills.

A tax based on property value was considered to pay for the shortfall, but many councilors voiced their opinion that it was unfair to those who did not produce much trash.

Parker said she is also considering a $40 per household per year special assesment for streetlights, which would trim $400,000 a year from the city’s budget.