City council voted this week to add a five-year, 1.2-mill renewal levy to the Nov. 5 ballot to maintain a contract with Allied Waste for citywide residential curbside garbage collections and retain the recycling facilities behind city hall provided and serviced by Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District.
The levy, which has been in place for 36 years, is one of five garbage levies that pay most of the $485,235 cost for those services. Mayor James Melfi said the city continues to subsidize about $43,000 of that total.
“As appraisals for homes decrease, so do property taxes,” Melfi said, explaining the shortfall in millage. “We’re comfortable using general-fund money to fill that gap because the service is excellent.”
Melfi added, however, that the city does not want to see that gap widen.
The city pays $10.24 per household per month for garbage services. About $1 of that rate goes toward tipping fees for recycling. Paying for garbage collection through levies provides a much better service to residents than individually billed services such as those provided in nearby cities, Melfi said.
“I’m proud to say we pay the lowest rate in the Mahoning Valley,” Melfi said. “The reason for that is that we pay the bill every month, so garbage always gets picked up. It makes for a much cleaner, neater city.”
Melfi said the city does not include curbside recycling in its garbage pickup because including that service would cost taxpayers about 50 percent more.