Hays residents will likely see their fees go up for refuse and recycling collection by the city, starting with a 14% hike next month.
The city commission will vote Thursday on the recommendation made by city staff in July for a series of hikes in solid waste fees.
They would begin with 14% in October 2019. Then, smaller increases are recommended starting in January 2021 with 5.5%, a 3% increase beginning January 2022, and a 2% increase in 2023 and in 2024.
The monthly collection fees of $15.20 have been in place since 2006 and the city needs to catch up with inflation, says Toby Dougherty, city manager.
“The last couple years we’ve been eating into our end of year balance a little bit to where now we’re going negative,” Dougherty explained, “and we’re not putting money into reserves.
“We’re going to reach a point where a piece of equipment fails and we don’t have the money to pay for it.”
Expenses within the Solid Waste Division have slowly increased in the past 12 years due to fuel increases, higher hauling and sorting fees for recyclables, salaries, and higher tipping fees at the Ellis County landfill.
According to information supplied by Jesse Rohr, Hays public works director, recent discussion with the Ellis County Commission resulted in a $3 decrease in tipping fees charged to the city starting Sept. 1. That has lowered the rate from $75 to $72 a ton based on the volume the city hauls to the transfer station. The price will remain in effect through 2020, at which time a $1 increase will take place. Hays is the largest customer of the Ellis County landfill.
Also on the Sept. 12 agenda is an update about the services provided by First Call for Help by Linda Mills, executive director.
The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Hays City Hall, 1507 Main.