Ardmore, PA - Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners approved a 10 percent increase for 2019 trash collection fees when they met this week. This increase was agreed upon after officials noted that the Solid Waste Fund has had 4 years of deficit spending.
According to Commissioner C. Brian McGuire, Vice President, the board "is obliged to fund the enterprise" and rates needed to be raised significantly.
This accounting maneuver, coupled with the 10 percent fee increase, will help the Solid Waste Fund stay financially solvent and reduce deficit spending. There was no discussion on the effect to the General Fund of reducing income by $350,000.
Eric Traub, Chief Financial Officer of the township, reported that a factor in the deficit spending was that monies received for recycling were substantially lower as the pricing for recycled materials and paper had dropped dramatically.
Charts and graphs were displayed on the two pull-down screens housed in the Commissioners meeting room during the gathering to highlight these points.
Rear yard collection was briefly discussed and it was mentioned during public comment that the majority of the residents were offsetting costs for those that took advantage of this option.
Rear yard collection is when the township trash collectors go onto private properties, usually via driveways, to the rear properties of township residents to collect trash and recycling. These residents pay an additional $210 per year for the service. That averages out to roughly an extra $4 per week per household and was noted to be a bargain by officials during the meeting. Officials then reported that each year fewer people in the township took advantage of the rear yard collection service, opting for placing their refuse and recycling at the street curb.
In addition to the fee increase, the board also voted on and approved reducing the Solid Waste Fund contribution to the townships general fund by $350,000.
Another vote is needed for procedural reasons and that vote will occur at the November 2018 Board of Commissioners meeting.
The TAPinto news team has filed a Freedom Of Information Act Request to view the data that was displayed as well as the additional data pertaining to the deficit spending and the fee increase.
This is a developing news story that TAPinto will be following closely.