Residents in Poughkeepsie may have to pay more to get rid of their garbage after the city’s mayor, John Tkazyik, announced his 2014 budget plan. YNN's Michael Howard reports.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik's 2014 budget plan proposes a hike in the cost of garbage pickup. He says it's to cover costs of an increase in operations fees, as well as households just not paying the pickup fee. This comes just a year after the mayor proposed eliminating pick up all together.
“We will be going from $25.50 for a single family home up to $39 a month to cover the cost of sanitization services,” said Tkazyik. “And that uncollected amount that the city is not receiving.”
According to the city administrator, 30 percent of households are not paying the monthly fee, instead some are waiting until the end of the year to pay all their fees and taxes at one time.
“Transferring the sanitation fee to taxes doesn’t guarantee it’s going to get paid. All you’re doing is postponing the inevitable, which means, at some point, we will get to a point where we can no longer pay the bills in sanitation,” said City Administrator Milo Bunyi.
But city leaders say there is another possible solution.
“As I had suggested last year, I’m recommending that the sanitation services be privatized,” said Tkazyik.
Once again, he’s proposing eliminating pickup and having homeowners find other means to get rid of their trash.
But the CSEA union, who represents sanitation workers, thinks otherwise. In a statement, the group said, “Failing to pay a private hauler would result in service termination, which could lead to a huge littering and an illegal dumping problems and would ultimately require the city workforce to come in anyway and do cleanup."
“We need a rate of $39 for a single family home on a monthly basis,” said Bunyi. “To even have a shot at being able to afford the sanitation fund.”
The mayor’s budget package will be up for debate in several public meetings that start in early November.