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Borough explores fee hike

November 06, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Residents in the Borough of Waynesboro may be facing a double whammy to their pocketbooks next year as the Borough Council contemplates increases in garbage-collection fees and mill rates.

The Borough Council earlier this week accepted the low bid from Waste Management, its current refuse-collection contractor, for a new contract beginning in January that will cost the borough more for weekly refuse and biweekly recyclable pickups. Two firms submitted bids.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said the borough currently charges residents $33.65 quarterly for regular weekly refuse pickup and biweekly recyclable pickups per dwelling unit.

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The borough contracts directly with Waste Management for the service. Under the current contract, Waste Management charges the borough $5.83 per month per dwelling unit. The new contract raises the monthly fee to $8.46, a 47 percent increase, Hamberger said.

The borough adds billing, administration and other costs to what it charges residents for the services. This year, it comes to $33.65 per household.

"We buy the service wholesale from Waste Management and sell it to the residents at resale," Hamberger said.

Hamberger said he will have to determine the costs to the borough before coming up with the new residential increase.

"I doubt if it will be as high as 47 percent," he said.

In related budget news, Hamberger said he is proposing a 2-mill tax hike for the borough's 2005 budget.

The extra money will pay for an anticipated 28 percent raise in the premiums the borough pays for health insurance for the nearly 60 public employees.

In addition, the borough police department's budget is expected to increase by more than $80,000 next year to pay for additional police officers to bring the department's complement to 21 officers, Hamberger said.

The proposed budget came in at $3.6 million, about $400,000 more than this year's appropriation, but that's without cuts that are expected to be made by the council, he said.

Each mill brings in about $52,000, he said.

Hamberger figures the 2-mill hike should cover the borough's added expenses next year. Two mills would raise an average homeowner's tax bill by about $40 per year, he said.

The council raised taxes by 2 mills last year, Hamberger said.

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