The City of Greenwood is raising user fees to pay for garbage collection in 2021, potentially the last year the city will provide the service. City hall said it will not raise fees to maintain its water and sewer systems.
Garbage and recycling fees will go up approximately $2.50 per household over 2021, according to mayor Barry Noll, rising 2.5 per over last year. Noll said the increase will make up for the roughly $3,000 in over-budget spending the city put towards garbage and recycling collection last year. The city was on budget for water and sewer services, he said.
“Garbage collection is not sustainable for us,” he explained, adding that the city will start discussions with the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) about joining its garbage and recycling model in the coming year.
Joining the RDKB’s service model would save Greenwood taxpayers money and free up the city’s understaffed public works department, he said. The RDKB would also collect residents’ compost, which Noll said the city does not do. The switch would not see any lay-offs or job reductions for any of the city’s full or part-time staff.
Noll said garbage and recycling collection currently takes one city employee about four hours every Friday.
The city’s last five-year financial plan, released in May 2016, raised taxes 2 per cent annually.