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McGUFFEY — Residents of McGuffey are likely to see their rates for garbage collection increase in the very near future. The biggest question is who will be collecting it.
The village collects garbage in the village and contracts with Waste Management for removal of the collected trash. Residents are charged through their monthly utility bills, along with the cost of water and sewer services.
At the current rate of $10 per month, the village is running about $1,000 short monthly of covering the cost of the contract. For example, said Clerk Sandi McKinley, the village received $2,241 in March and paid $3,021 for the collection. In 2011, the garbage fund ran in the red by $13,281.37, McKinley reported to council Saturday morning.
The shortfall continues, said McKinley, and is putting a strain on the already strained general fund balance. There is currently $83,000 in the general fund, she told council.
“That is nothing to shout about,” said McKinley. “I’m not going to let negligence deplete the general fund.”
In order to offset the expense, said McKinley, the garbage bills need to be increased by $6 per month. If the rate had been adjusted annually to cover the loss, the increase wouldn’t come all at once, said the clerk. The increase was approved by the board of public affairs, she said, and was sent on to council for consideration.
“I think we can figure out something besides another $6 per month,” said Councilman Bob Spradlin. “People can’t afford this.”
The only other option, said Mayor Gary Conley, is for the village to get out of the garbage collection business. It would then be up to the landowners to contract to have their trash hauled by a commercial hauler. The rate, he said, would likely be higher than the $16 new rate through the village.
“We don’t want to make any money on garbage,” said Conley. “We just want to break even.”
He noted the costs of garbage collection, along with water and sewer services, has increased because there are fewer people in the village paying in to the funds. The increased number of vacant houses in the town who are not using the services means a loss of $50,000 in revenue annually to the village, said Conley.
A decision is needed by the end of the month, said McKinley, in order to avoid further impact on the general fund. If the increase is voted down, said Conley, there is no other choice but for the village to stop the service immediately.
The idea of residents paying individually for trash collection concerned most of the village officials at the meeting. There are many nuisance in the village now, said McKinley, this would only increase the problems.
“If we don’t raise the rates, we are out of the garbage business and you take chances with what happens,” said Conley. “It will be the responsibility of the homeowners to get a private hauler. Some will have it, but some won’t.”
Council will meet to make a decision on the rate increase at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the village offices. The public is invited to discuss their concerns.
In other business, council discussed allowing the HOBY youth group from Ohio Northern University to work on the village building during their workday in McGuffey on June 9. About 40 teens will also be available to assist village residents with chores, such as washing windows, weeding gardens and scrubbing porches.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer