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Martinsburg City council approves rate increases for garbage pickup

May 11, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg City Council on Thursday approved a proposed increase in garbage and curbside collection fees on a 5-1 vote after allowing residents and business owners a final opportunity to air any concerns about the rate adjustment.

Councilman Donald Anderson voted against the third and final reading of the ordinance and Councilman Roger Lewis was absent.

South Raleigh Street resident Joan Roach was the only resident to address council members Thursday, but she didn't oppose the increase.

She encouraged the city to consider reducing the number of garbage pickups per week to one instead of two and also suggested town leaders provide "better stewardship" of the community and the environment.

The new annual collection fee to be put into effect by July 1 for residential customers will be $216, up from $172. But individuals who pay their fee within 20 days of receiving their bill will pay $177.12, up from $141.04. Commercial Dumpster rates will increase, beginning with a $1,000-per-year annual rate for customers who receive one pickup per week. That's up from $750.

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Anderson said previously that residents suggested to him that service be reduced to one pickup per week and that the city do a better job with recycling.

City Finance Director Mark B. Spickler had said the increase was necessary because the city would soon be in violation of its own ordinance, which mandates "at no time ... shall (garbage) rates be continued which are ... producing less revenue than is required to meet all obligations and costs involved in rendering service to the public."

Regardless of the increase, residents still have an opportunity to discard items at no cost as part of the city's annual "Take Pride in Your Community" spring cleanup.

The city's 17th annual spring cleanup is slated for May 19.

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