Forest Park residents will have to dig a little deeper to pay for garbage and yard waste collection following action by the village council Monday.
Village officials defended their unanimous vote to increase the garbage and yard waste collection fees 3 percent annually for three years, 2 percent annually for three years for senior citizens, by noting the rates have not increased in five years while the village has absorbed annual increases from the village’s waste hauler.
“We’re not making money on this,” Mayor Anthony Calderone said. “This just keeps us even instead of absorbing increases.”
Commissioner Tom Mannix agreed.
“This is not a money grab,” he said. “We’re meeting our contractual increases. This is making us whole.”
Calderone explained that the contract between the village and its waste hauler includes annual increases equal to the consumer price index, which has averaged about 1 percent in recent years. That translates to an estimated $100,000 since the last increase in residents’ collection fees in 2012.
Under the new collection-fee structure, the bimonthly residential fee for garbage, rubbish and recycling will increase from $27.41 to $28.23, and the bimonthly senior citizen fee will increase from $17.85 to $18.21. The bimonthly yard waste collection fees also will increase, with the residential fee rising from $3.74 to $3.85 and the senior citizen fee rising from $3.37 to $3.58.
Village officials said the increases will cost a residential customer an extra $5.58 per year and a senior citizen customer an extra $2.28 per year.
Similar increases will follow in 2019 and 2020.
On Jan. 1, 2019, the bimonthly garbage, rubbish and recycling collection fee will increase to $29.08 for residents, $18.57 for senior citizens, and the bimonthly yard waste fee will increase to $3.97, $3.51 for senior citizens.
On Jan. 1, 2020, the bimonthly garbage, rubbish and recycling collection fee will increase to $29.95 for residents, $18.94 for senior citizens, and the bimonthly yard waste fee will increase to $4.09, $3.58 for senior citizens.
Village officials estimate the fee increases will provide an additional $21,000 in 2018.
The last collection fee increase, approved in 2009, also was phased in over a three-year period.
The collection fee increase is the second by the village council in as many meetings. Village officials, on Nov. 27, approved an increase in fees for parking permits and parking tickets.
The two actions implement three of many recommendations made at a budget workshop in October on closing a $1 million shortfall. Other recommendations include imposing a sewer tax and charging for parking on Madison Street and Roosevelt Road.