MINGO JUNCTION -Village residents are being asked to approve a 6-mill replacement levy to fund garbage and refuse service in the village.
Village Clerk John Angelica said the village has three garbage levies, each at 2 mills, approved in 1976, 1980 and 2002. The property valuation at the time the levies were approved has remained the same since, he said. The current levy generates $147,000. Angelica said the replacement levy, based on current property valuations, will generate $238,000.
"We don't live on 1976 or 1980 wages. We need to get up with the times. We have to increase the revenues. Everything is going up. We can't live on 1976 or 1980 millage," he said.
Angelica said a homeowner with a $75,000 home is currently paying $7.33 a month for the garbage levy. The replacement levy will increase the amount by $5.80. For a $100,000 home, the current rate is $9.77 and will increase by $7.75 a month.
There is a Homestead discount for senior citizens.
The budget for the garbage services this year is set at $238,000. Angelica said the levy generates $147,000, $63,000 is added from the income tax revenue and the remainder is taken from the garbage surplus fund.
Angelica said the village keeps dipping into the surplus in the garbage levy funds, but the current $110,000 surplus will be depleted in about two years at current spending.
The trash compactor the village is using will save the village money in the years ahead by reducing the number of packers from two to one, said Council President John Fabian. He said the one packer will have reduced mileage because it won't have to travel to a landfill. The garbage dumped in the compactor is taken to a landfill by a private company.
Steve Maguschak, village administrator, said the village collects rubbish every second and fourth Tuesday of each month throughout the village. Rubbish collection was down to once a month. With the compactor, village workers are able to collect rubbish twice a month. He said the additional revenue from the replacement levy will allow the village to purchase a new garage truck in the future at a cost of $175,000 and secure workers.
Maguschak said the village will have to lay off workers and discontinue its garbage collection service if the replacement levy is rejected by voters.
Angelica said that would result in residents having to find private haulers. He said the cost of the private haulers per month will be more than what the residents will pay for the replacement levy. He said residents then won't be allowed to put out grass clippings or bulk items, such as couches, mattresses or other large items.
"We still have the best garbage collection in the valley," Angelica said.
The current garbage levy will expire in 2015. If the replacement levy fails, the village will be forced to go back to the voters before taking further action, such as eliminating the garbage collection.