A $1.50 increase in monthly garbage collection fees has been approved by Wellington village council and will go into effect on bills issued in June.
Initial plans called for a 75 cent increase this year and another next year. Instead, officials decided to move forward with the entire amount all at once due to ongoing deficit spending in the village refuse fund.
As of March, the fund sat at $315,000 with $324,000 in projected expenses.
When the new rates take effect, the regular household charge will be $18.25 while seniors will pay $17.75.
Increases in collection charges from Republic Services last year put costs to the village at $16.92 per household and $16.40 for seniors.
Village manager Steve Dupee has said in meetings the rate increase aims to create a two-month surplus in the refuse fund, which is approximately $52,000.
“After doing some additional research, we determined the difference between the rates from Republic and what the village was charging customers necessitated doing the entire $1.50 this year,” he said. ” What council wanted to do was correct the issue immediately.”
As it stands, Republic has still not corrected a discrepancy where it charges Wellington for service at 1,506 households while the village collects money from 1,546, according to Dupee. If that difference is eliminated, it could increase charges to the village by $8,500.
When the increase was proposed to council, some officials said the discrepancy could be due to Republic not properly counting the number of accounts in multi-unit houses. Dupee said the village has not yet determined whether that was a factor.
“We haven’t corrected those counts but we expect it to happen shortly,” he said. “That is Republic’s issue not our issue. We haven’t found any sort of underlying cause for the difference.”
According to the ordinance, the increase in charges to residents will remain in effect until further notice.
“We’re bleeding money on this,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “We’ve under-billed for a long time and it needed to be corrected now.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.