By Kevin Kelley
Mayor Eileen Patton said the $10 monthly trash collection fee imposed on residents since April 2010 will likely be extended at least one year.
Under the ordinance that instituted it, the fee is set to expire at the end of this year.
Patton said she will discuss the trash fee and prospects for redevelopment of the former NASA buildings on Brookpark Road with City Council before the end of the year.
The trash fee was imposed last April due to a financial crisis caused by declining tax revenue, the loss of state and federal funding and the loss of income tax revenue from NASA’s move of its civil service employees from buildings on Brookpark Road.
The trash fee brings in approximately $600,000 annually, according to Finance Director Lisa Rocco.
City officials hope that new development projects in the city, including the nursing home/assisted living facility on Lorain Road and redevelopment of the former NASA buildings, will eliminate the need for the trash fee. However, Patton said new tax revenue from these projects will not come in before the start of 2012. Therefore, the trash fee will need to be extended.
“People understand the economy,” Patton said of the difficult financial environment.
The mayor said it is “imperative” to keep a sunset provision on any extension of the trash fee, emphasizing that such a fee not be made permanent.
Patton told West Life she has not been asked about the trash fee will during the current mayoral campaign.
Patton’s opponent, Rich Deem, told West Life that if he is elected, the fee would have to be extended. Like Patton, Deem said he would seek to end the fee as soon as possible.