Council’s vote on recycling fee increase could be postponed

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– Evansville City Council has a big decision to make Monday. It’s a possibility the vote on whether or not to increase fees for recycling will be tabled until next year.

If they table the vote, city officials say some services will end. In November Evansville Water and Sewer Utilities brought this up to the council. It’s a possibility a bill for those who live in Evansville could go up. It would help keep the recycling program in Evansville going.

“Tri-state Resource Recovery operation is operating at a loss and they’ve now depleted their cash and they won’t be able to continue operating without additional revenue,” Allen Mounts says.

Evansville Water and Sewer Utilities say they need the money because places like china aren’t buying recyclables like they used to. But some with the city council don’t agree.

“I don’t think it’s very fair to our constituents to keep adding this on to their bills when water and sewer just did a big build-out for their facility, they’ve hired several new people and giving out raises,” Missy Mosby says.

Mosby represents Ward 2. She says one thing she’s heard from the people she represents is they don’t like the high bills they already have.

“I think a lot of people do recycle but if it comes down to a lot more money to do that I’ve had constituents say they just can’t afford it,” Mosby explains. “We shouldn’t keep tacking on fees to our constituents. Maybe we should look at the bottom line of our overhead. “

But Allen Mounts says there’s nothing they can take from.

“There are no other revenue streams within the utility unless it’s subsidized by maybe the sewer utility to do that,” Mounts says.

Mosby says there has to be something.

“We really need to look at it. I know I’ve been told that if it’s voted down we won’t have recycling. I think they need to look at other measures if we don’t do this increase what else can be done,” Mosby says

Mounts says if they decide not to increase the fee that will be the end for some parts of the recycling services in Evansville.

“If there is not a rate increase, and they defer the decision to next year they fundamentally made the decision to shut down the recycling center single stream because there won’t be sufficient revenue to continue,” Mounts explains.

Mosby says she plans on asking for the issue to be tabled.

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(This story was originally published on December 16, 2019)

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