Residents of Ludington may soon receive a call from the town’s garbage collection contractor.
The Republic Services call will direct residents to a survey on the city’s website asking them about the future of the yard waste collection program fees.
Ludington City Council held a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday with a representative from the company to discuss the fees before the contract expires and its possible renewal next year.
Matt Biolette, director of municipal services for Republic Services, said the fees for renting garden bins or carts and buying bags of garden waste are too low.
Garden waste carts currently cost $ 65 per year. Bags currently cost $ 2 per bag.
The problem is, Republic Services has to scour all the city streets looking for the bags, Biolette said. Republic Services has a record of units that have rented carts, but has no way of knowing who pulled out a bag.
The program’s revenues no longer justify cruising all over town, he said.
Yard waste charges have not been adjusted since the 2013 contract. Since then there has been a “dramatic decrease” in the use of yard waste carts and the cost of doing business has increased, a- he declared.
Several solutions were discussed, but nothing was decided. Councilors agreed to seek public input before proceeding.
An amendment to the contract proposed by Republic Services suggested increasing the cart rental fee to $ 145 and the cost of a bag to $ 3.
By eliminating bags from the program, the cart fee could be kept at $ 128. By also limiting the pickup to twice a month rather than a week, the cart fee could be kept at $ 105.
But advisers agreed it was worth giving bags to people who only need them occasionally. Little preference was expressed on the possibility of a bi-monthly pickup.
Much of the discussion has centered on the idea of increasing fees in part in 2022 through a rider to the current contract. The remainder of the fee hike would be negotiated when the contract is renewed in 2023.
Another idea involved that the fees be increased over a period of several years, with the city contributing part of the difference between the old and the new fees. The city’s contribution would decrease as the fees increase.
The results of the survey will be discussed at the next meeting of the Public Safety and Utilities Committee.
An amendment to the contract with an updated count of houses in the city and clarified language will move forward separately.