Council debates trash pickup rate hike

March 15, 2006

WILLIAMSPORT - Torn between fiscal management and protecting fixed-income constituents, Williamsport Town Council members on Monday debated whether to raise trash pickup rates again.

The rate went up last year from $7.50 a quarter to $15 a quarter, which became $5 a month.

Now, the council is considering raising the rate to $10 a month.

Councilman Earle R. Pereschuk Sr. said the town failed to raise the rate more gradually over the years.

"The first six months (of the fiscal year), we lost $35,000," Mayor James G. McCleaf II said.

Councilman Nelson F. Deal was hesitant.

"I'm concerned about the senior citizens in this town who are truly victims of this," he said. "I know we need it ... but it touches me hard."

Councilman Jeff Cline said he agrees, but it's clear the town has been hurt by trying to subsidize residents' expenses for years.


Assistant Mayor Monty R. Jones suggested a discount for senior citizens, but some wondered if that could be done, especially for renters, since the town bills landlords.

Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said renters probably need the discount more.

McCleaf pointed out that the town is working on other relief for older residents, such as an exemption from the flush tax and a property tax abatement, which would more than make up for an increase in the trash fee.

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