Newark Debates Trash Collection Fee, Raising Taxes At Sparsely Attended Meeting

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Residents of Newark will likely face higher taxes and fees if the city gets its way.

Last month City Manager Tom Coleman and Finance Director David Del Grande proposed a trash collection fee that would add $130 to $300 a year to residents’ monthly bills.

After we reported the proposal residents contacted several council members opposing the idea. At a budget hearing on Monday, some on council said they had received backlash from their constituents regarding the trash fee. The fee was originally proposed to deal with what Coleman last month called a $1.9 million budget shortfall.

At Monday’s meeting, the city staff proposed two options to deal with the shortfall.

Option one would start charging residents a fee for trash collection. The monthly fee would be in addition to the new stormwater fee the city added in 2018. That fee adds a 2.1 percent property tax hike, a 1.25 percent water rate increase, and yes a 0.5 percent sewer rate increase.

Option two drops the proposed refuse fee, however, the city would raise taxes by 9.3 percent,  increase the water rate by 5.8 percent and increase sewer rates by 4.7 percent.

Last month Coleman said that implementing a refuse fee would offset the need for large tax and fee increases.

Personnel costs, the largest expense category for the city, are up $1.9 million this year, however, there was no plan presented to scale back city staff presented at Monday’s meeting.

In addition to the trash fee and tax hike proposals, the city has also proposed charging fees to customers who pay their bills with credit cards.

 

Council will vote on Coleman’s proposed budget $98,000,000 budget on Nov. 18.

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About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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