April 18, 2014

Edgerton mulls subsidizing city’s trash services

Corbin H. Crable
chcrable@gardnernews.com

If the Edgerton City Council has its way, Edgerton residents may be paying less for trash services next year.
The council, at its July 15 work session, discussed subsidizing the city’s trash services in 2011, from anywhere between 50 to 100 percent. Money to fund the project would come from the $615,000 the city will receive in property taxes from the annexation of KCP&L’s peak generating facility.
If the city decides to forego trash subsidization, another money-saving option for Edgerton residents would be to decrease the city’s mill levy by 2 mills. At 42.8930, the city’s mill rate is well above the county’s rate of 17.7160 and Gardner’s rate of 24.606. One mill equals $9,250 per year.
But council member Jody Brown said he was hesitant to advocate for a mill levy decrease since it will be affected by the intermodal.
“If we lower the mill levy, we’ll get less from the KC Logistics Park,” he said. “I’m all for lowering the mill levy, but I don’t think this is the right time.”
Council member Ken Gillespie said he wants to see the city subsidize trash services instead, since that would be a savings that would be the same for all residents and not based on a home’s assessed valuation.
The average home in Edgerton has an assessed valuation of $127,000, and the average homeowner there pays an estimated $2,000 in property taxes per year.
On average, too, Edgerton residents pay $13.30 per month or $159.60 per year for trash services. A subsidization of those services would lower that payment to $79.80 per year.
Council member Glyn Powers said he is satisfied with the idea of trash subsidization and believes residents will be responsive to the idea as well.
“To some people in this town, $13.30 is substantial,” he said.
Council member Heidi Wiseman said she agreed.
“Everybody across the board gets the same thing,” she said.
A memorandum from City Administrator David Dillner outlined the city of Edgerton’s projected budget for 2011; with revenues in the General Fund totaling $2,230,944 and expenses coming to $1,949,977, the city is estimated to see a budget surplus of $280,967.
The memo also listed assumptions under which the city has organized its 2011 budget, Dillner said. Those include:
• Assessed home valuations are expected to drop by 3 percent in fiscal year 2011 but will remain steady in 2012. The city of Edgerton, however, likely will see increases in assessed valuation because of construction related to the intermodal and logistics park.
• Sales tax is expected to decrease by 5 percent due to the economic recession. City staff believe the tax will see initial signs of recovery and stability in 2012 and may increase beginning in 2013.
• Transfers to the Equipment and Street Reserve Fund are expected to increase by 5 percent each year starting in 2011.
The council will next meet for its regular meeting at 7 p.m. July 22 at the Community Center, 404 E. Nelson St.

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