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Latrobe council OKs garbage fee increase

| Sunday, May 13, 2012, 2:29 p.m.

Getting rid of garbage is going to cost a little more in Latrobe starting in 2003.

Beginning Jan. 1, the annual fee for residential garbage collection will rise to $125 — an increase of $5 — and individual bag stickers will cost 25 cents. Also with the rate increase, the fee assessed on businesses will increase 10 percent.

The city has to generate about $85,000 more next year, said city Manager Rick Stadler. Part of that increase is to cover its five-year contract with its hauler.

An estimated $30,000 extra is needed to cover the city's surcharge from the hauling company for its tipping fee.

The state Legislature passed a bill in June that charges landfills $4 for every ton of collected garbage. The landfills pass the fee onto the haulers; the haulers onto the local governments.

"What is driving this increase is the state mandate," said Neal Fenton, deputy mayor. " <#201> Haulers were given the OK to pass that tax onto the municipalities. The buck stops here. We're the end of the line. This action recoups funds that were mandated by the state."

Council members Richard Jim and Nicole Corleto voted against the increase at Monday night's monthly council meeting. Councilman Fabian Giovannagelo was absent.

An opponent of the sticker system, Jim said he agreed that the $5 annual fee needed to increase, but "really can't buy into increasing the cost of the sticker."

He also suggested the city take a look at the cost of nonresidents using its transfer station on Mission Road.

Council also approved a request by Latrobe Area Hospital to change two metered parking lots to accept tokens so that patients can park at no cost.

Patients, for example, will be able to park in the lots — one near the mental health center and a second on Joanna Drive — and receive a token from the hospital. The token would be given back at the lot exit.

People without official hospital business who park in the lots would have to buy a token for $5.

The change will not affect the city's budget, Stadler said after the meeting, because while the city parking authority manages the hospitals lots, the meter revenue goes to the hospital.

Stadler said the hospital made the request to compete with other regional facilities that offer free parking.

In other business, council:

  • Gave approval for free parking at downtown streets meters from Dec. 12-28. Mayor Warren Marckioni said the idea for free parking in the holiday season was suggested by the downtown business association.

    "We want to bring shopping into the town and show goodwill by the city," he said.

  • Authorized applying for a $150,000 loan from PEMA to buy a 100-foot ladder fire truck.

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