PLAINFIELD, NJ — The Plainfield Municipal Utility Authority’s Board of Commissioners voted to approve an increase in the bulky waste fee, including mattresses, and the construction waste disposal fee at its business meeting on Thursday.
After hearing from the authority’s accountant, Julius Consoni of Lerch, Vinci and Higgins, LLP, who laid out the rationale for the fee increase, commissioners agreed that the increase from $110 per ton to $120 per ton was necessary and reasonable in order for PMUA to recover costs associated with increased volume of waste being processed at the station.
According to Consoni’s sworn testimony, the existing rates were in effect since January, 1, 2012 and would not affect residents of Plainfield but rather commercial clients and haulers delivering waste to the transfer station.
PMUA is required to transport bulky waste and construction demolition waste generated in Union County to a Waste Management operated facility in Elizabeth and these fees are scheduled to increase in 2020. Additionally, PMUA accepts waste from Middlesex and other counties which are delivered to Lemcor solid waste facility in Newark, where fees are also scheduled to increase.
The resolution is effective immediately. PMUA had filed a legal notice for the public meeting on Oct. 25 that stated the action would be taken by the board.
The proposed PMUA budget for 2020 was also introduced during the regular business meeting.
Sewer fees are anticipated to increase due to increased water usage, but would not result in a rate increase; connection fees will be held flat despite an increase in construction activities throughout the city.
Consoni stated that the number of projects coming online over the year was taken into consideration but a conservative approach is preferred. Expenses are anticipated to rise due to salary increases, along with medical and health benefit costs. A surplus will be used to achieve a balanced budget without rate increases.
In terms of the solid waste budget, no rate increases are being proposed as the customer base has not changed. According to Consoni, the existing rates that have been in place since 2018 were designed to hold for three years and will need to be revisited at the end of 2020.
Both Director Eric Jackson and CFO Beverly Morris-Gill commented that the departments had worked very hard to control expenses, contributing to a balanced budget allowing for salary increases and less reliance on reserves without increasing rates.
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