Letters to the Editor

City should set fees based on analysis of cost

The June 12 Finance Committee recommend the city raise the trash collection fee. The only information provided to the committee members was a partial list of what other communities pay for refuse collection.

I am disappointed that the committee would increase the trash fee based upon what other communities pay and not upon the cost of providing the service to the taxpayers of Belleville.

Although during the meeting there was some talk of the costs associated with operating the department, none of this information was committed to paper to justify the price increase.

One member said, “Five dollars a week isn’t very much.” And, to her it probably isn’t. But not all of us live in a household where husband and wife’s combined government salaries are over a $175,000. If you’re living on a fixed income of one-tenth that amount, then five dollars a week adds up.

Mayor Eckert said, “In the 1970s the city provided the service for free.” This is a lie. The city never provides any service for free. The cost of providing the service was included in your property taxes and other utility, payroll and sales taxes. The city decided to bill separately for trash service while continuing to raise property taxes.

I’m not opposed to paying a fee for the cost of providing a service. I’m just asking that the city set fees based on an analysis of the costs and not on how much the mayor thinks he can extract from our wallets.

Michael Hagberg, Belleville