Garbage Truck

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ASHTON – The city is considering increasing its garbage pickup fees to slightly more than five percent.

The increase comes as a result of the city’s contracted sanitation company, PSI Environmental Services, being charged more for county dump services and passing that cost on to Ashton.

The city discussed the situation during Wednesday’s city council meeting. As the expected increase is planned to be more than five percent, the state requires the city to hold a public hearing. The council agreed to hold that public hearing during its Wednesday, November 13, city council meeting.

The current residential garbage rate is $19.71. The city wants to raise that rate to $21.15.

Last year, the Fremont County Commissioners increased the cost of dumping to $80 a ton. They explained they were doing so to ensure that those who used the dump the most would be the ones to pay the most for the service.

Previously, there was no charge to leave trash at the dump. That all changed after the EPA and DEQ noted traces of waste seeping into the water in its “municipal cell” or where a lot of household items are pumped. It’s expected the county will pay around $2.5 million to close that section of the dump, and thus the reason behind new dumping fees.

City Clerk Cathy Stegelmeier reported that the city plans its yearly rate hike for sewer and water rates.

“We do a cost of living increase,” she said.

Such is expected to be around three percent. As the rate hike is less than five percent, the state doesn’t require the city to hold a public hearing, Stegelmeier said.

The current monthly water base rate fee will increase from $45.22 to $46.58. For every additional 1,000 gallons of water used, the city plans to increase that cost from $1.22 to $1.26 a gallon. Sewer rates will go up from $42.76 to $44.04 a month.

Residents will see the increases for all three utilities in their November bills, Stegelmeier said.

For more information on the increased utility fees, and the next city council meeting call 208-652-3987.