Mayor John Tkazyik is offering an alternative to maintain city trash pickup next year and save the jobs of 13 sanitation workers.
The option would reduce city trash pickup from two to one day a week and require residents to purchase 30 gallon transparent trash bags for $3 each. This move is expected to encourage residents to recycle more and substantially increase the revenue the city receives for the recyclables it collects.
The plan still enables the city to meet the 2 percent tax levy increase cap next year, Tkazyik said. The plan, however, depends on gaining concessions from the union representing the sanitation workers, including no more working on holidays and reduced overtime pay.
The alternative plan is something Tkazyik said he has been working with the firm Waste Zero since before he presented his 2013 budget draft Oct. 15. That spending plan meets the tax cap but at the cost of eliminating city sanitation service to 6,200 households.
Tkazyik said he is offering his alternative plan after analysis was done by city staff determining there will be enough of an increase in revenues and reduction is spending to hold the line on taxes.
“This saves jobs,” he said. “The city will still provide the service, however, the homeowner will be required to pay as you throw and encouraged to enhance recycling.”
The transparent trash bags city residents must use would be available for purchase at local supermarkets and city hall. Only the bags with the city logo could be used.
The plan will now be considered by the Common Council which is reviewing mayor’s budget draft. The council can make changes to the budget which it must adopt by the end of the year.