Hancock City Council raises garbage fees

HANCOCK – The costs for garbage collection in Hancock have increased after action taken Wednesday by members of the Hancock City Council during their regular meeting.

City Manager Glenn Anderson said the city’s garbage collection service incurred a net loss of $44,586 dollars for the 2011-12 fiscal year, so increases in fees are necessary.

Part of the need for the rate increases, Anderson said, is due to the fact Waste Management increased its tipping fee for the city’s waste from $72 to $75 per ton.

However, Anderson said the monthly ready-to-serve fees of $5 for residents and $15 for non-residents won’t increase.

One of the fee increases proposed by Anderson is an increase from $6 per roll of small city garbage bags to $10 per roll, and from $8 per roll for 25 biodegradable yard waste bags to $12 per roll. There will be no increase for the rolls of 10 bio-bags, which will remain at $5 per roll.

Anderson also proposed increases in fees for various-capacity trash dumpsters.

The trash bag program began in Hancock in 1995, and Anderson said this is only the second fee increase since then.

Anderson said the fee increases will do much to help eliminate the garbage collection deficit.

“The goal is to raise between $50,000 and $60,000,” he said.

After Anderson presented his fee-increase proposal, Councilman Jeremie Moore said it’s important for the city to keep a closer watch on increases in Waste Management fees so smaller incremental increases can be made to city fees, which would be more easily acceptable by city residents. Anderson agreed that would be a good idea.

Council members unanimously approved Anderson’s proposed garbage-collection fee increases.

On a related matter, during public comment period, city resident Susan Burack told the council Waste Management has resumed collecting clear glass and plastics rated from 1 to 5, and if residents recycle those items, that will reduce the per-ton cost of waste removal.

Anderson gave council members an update on Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed 2014 budget, which includes a possible $1.2 billion increase for road funding.

“It’s a pretty bold move,” Anderson said.

In Snyder’s proposal, money for the road fund increases will come from increases in gasoline and diesel taxes, and increases in vehicle registration fees.

Anderson said the governor’s proposed budget includes a slight increase in revenue sharing to the state’s communities.

In other business, council members:

approved a resolution congratulating Hancock-based Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for winning the Michigan Technological University Winter Carnival fraternity month-long snow statue competition for the sixth consecutive year.

approved the resignation of Council Member Barry Givens from the Hancock Housing Commission board.

approved a motion thanking Terry Monsen and Frank Taucher Jr. for their years of service on the Downtown Development Authority.

approved a charitable gaming license for the Hancock Fire Department as a fundraiser for hosting the Copper Country Firefighters Tournament in Hancock in June.