Troy City Council approves trash fee for 2018
The Troy City Council passed a trash fee 5 to 4 with those in favor saying it's necessary to pay off the city's debt and those opposed arguing it's a slap in the face to taxpayers.
About a dozen residents came out tonight pleading with council members to vote no, saying the fee disproportionately impacts lower income households, that it will be the tipping point to drive people out of the city, and that it will not make anyone recycle more responsibly.
Council President Carmella Mantello says the fee is really a hidden tax.
She says it was passed by 5 "lame duck" council members - meaning they are all outgoing members this year.
However, the city's deputy mayor says she's pleased the fee passed -- arguing that this amendment balances the 2018 budget and clears Troy's debt for the new year.
Mantello said, “Two days before New Year's Day a trash tax was imposed on the people of Troy at 9:00 on a Friday. In my opinion, this is government 101 on how not to do city business."
Monica Kurzejeski, Troy Deputy Mayor, said "We felt it was the responsibility of the current council to close the deficit, to pass a balanced budget. We originally proposed a balanced budget and they chose a different route which they're required to do so we felt it was our responsibility to finish the year and walk into 2018 with a balanced budget so we're ready to work."
The council president says the fee has not actually been decided yet -- she says the council is being told it will likely be around $160 per year.
The fee also has a sunset clause of one year if the city does not come up with an alternate plan.