Tri States Public Radio Staff
Recycling Push Likely
Sun September 8, 2013
Garbage Rate Hike Possible in Keokuk
It could soon cost Keokuk residents more money to have their garbage picked up by the city.
Finance Committee Chairman Roger Bryant wants the city council to start setting money aside for the purchase of new garbage trucks.
He says the idea is to avoid massive interest payments in the future.
Bryant says, for example, Keokuk will pay about $200,000 in interest on the money it borrowed to purchase two garbage trucks and thousands of trash cans roughly five years ago.
Bryant says the city could generate about $42,000/year if the garbage rate was increased by just $1/month. The average monthly rate sits at about $17.
He says the city should be able to able to pay cash for a new truck after 5-6 years, thus avoiding the interest payments.
The idea of the rate increase came up briefly during the city council's most recent workshop, as did an alternative that could be less costly to residents.
The city must pay tipping fees based on how much trash passes the scales at the Great River Regional Waste Authority.
7th ward Alderwoman Susan Dunek, who serves on GRRWA's Board of Directors, says the city does not have to pay tipping fees on recycling.
She says that means if recycling increases in Keokuk, money originally set aside for tipping fees in the current budget could be shifted to a truck replacement fund.
The city plans to reach out to GRRWA to see if grant money is available to fund a media campaign that would promote the benefits of recycling in Keokuk.
Bryant says it could be a couple of months before a vote on the garbage rate increase would occur, providing supporters time to see if recycling increases.
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