Solid Waste Fund (#251) Assessment
Residents pay for Solid Waste Collection on their bi-annual property tax bill under “special assessment”. According to Resolution 2013-55, the rate for 2014 is $15 per residence and $7.50/month for residents with Homestead Exemption (which included curbside bi-weekly recycling).
Chapter 1060.02, part b of the Codified Ordinances directs how the assessment for the solid waste fund is to be calculated. It outlines a formula to ensure the fund is self-balancing: never too much, never too little. Based on this formula next year’s estimated solid waste collection costs should decrease because of the anticipated savings from eliminating the recycling program.
On May 21, 2014 Maple Heights City Council approved a resolution authorizing the Mayor to renew the Contract with Waste Management for an additional 2 years and eliminate the recycling program, immediately. In resolution 2014-37 a cost savings of $112,000 was projected for 2014 and $463,000 for the next two and a half years. The original 3 year contract was entered into on October 19, 2011.
Elimination of Solid Waste Fund #251, proposed
Next, a piece of legislation was introduced, by Mayor Lansky, to eliminate the Recycling Fund (2014-46) and transfer the balance into the general fund. An opposing piece of legislation was introduced by Councilman Cefaratti to keep the fund “as is” and only transfer money to the general fund with Council Approval (2014-47).
Both pieces of legislation passed 4-3, but the law director ruled that 47 superseded 46 because it was passed second. Then the Mayor vetoed 47, leaving 46 to take effect. But Councilman Cefaratti introduced legislation to repeal 46, which passed 6-1. Council will have an opportunity at the August 20, 2014 meeting to override the Mayor’s veto on 47.
Solid Waste Fund Excess Estimated to Reduce Deficit
Section (1e) of the “revenue generating actions” in the financial recovery plan states: “City Council may transfer funds from the Solid Waste Collection Fund #251 upon passing a resolution after ensuring that the Solid Waste Collection Fund has adequate funds to pay for the garbage and rubbish collection costs each year at no expense to the city.” This action is forecast to reduce the deficit in the general fund by $200,000 each year.
If this extra money is kept in the fund, Maple Heights residents will see a reduction in their trash bill in the future. However, if the excess money is transferred to the general fund, resident will continue to pay the same amount for less service.