November 2012
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Garbage collection bill coming soon

PEORIA — You may have noticed that your water bill is $13 cheaper lately. That’s because the so-called “garbage fee,” which used to be collected for the City by Illinois American Water Company, is no longer included on your water bill.

But now a separate bill for garbage collection is coming soon to your mailbox.

“On October 30, 2012, the City Council approved an agreement with First Tech, a subsidiary of Busey Bank, to manage the billing services for the refuse collection fee,” City Manager Patrick Urich said via email. “We will be mailing out bills shortly, and they will be going to property owners (not tenants).”

Only residential property owners will receive garbage collection bills. Commercial, industrial and non-profit properties contract separately for garbage collection service, so they are not charged for residential waste service, which is provided by Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) under a contract with the City of Peoria. “This is why it wasn’t recommended to be a property tax-supported service,” Urich explained.

One question that has been raised by residents is how payment of this fee will be enforced. Under the old system, non-payment could result in water service being shut off. The new system doesn’t have such an obvious enforcement mechanism.

“We have been reviewing all of our options,” Urich said, “including stopping trash collection, placing liens, or including non-payment in the State Comptroller’s Local Debt Recovery Program that would allow us to intercept any income tax refund if monies are owed to us.”

Another question that has been voiced in the community is why PDC doesn’t bill residents for garbage collection directly, which would save the City money on the cost of billing, which is estimated to be as much as $160,000 per year.

Urich says that “the fee is ours (the City’s),” not PDC’s. “If we did not have a contract with PDC to collect waste and dispose of it, each individual would be responsible for it (like the unicorporated county).” In other words, the contract is between PDC and the City, not PDC and individual property owners. Thus, if the City wants to recoup its costs, it must bear the cost of billing property owners.

If individuals were to contract individually with a waste collection company, Urich added, “the cost could be considerably higher.”

14 comments to Garbage collection bill coming soon

  • checking for details

    PDC should be billing for the service. it’s ridiculous that they are not. We are subsidizing their bottom line. Now, they do make really good campaign donations and did give Spain’s buddy a cushy job, until he was let go, but I am sure those details are a coincidence. Note that the burden has been moved to the property owners vs. the household. When was that option put before anyone, or does Urich just do as he pleases. The question that I asked to some officials is who signs contracts like this?
    The city of Peoria will bend the taxpayers over and give them a thorough reaming in order to best fund their buddies and pet projects. And no challengers for the top spot.

  • checking: again you do not follow the game plan concerning the Garbage Fee. If you know it’s history, you know that the Garbage Fee was invented under Mayor Ransberg as a way to fund special police operations in use at the time. It did not go to garbage collection because garbage collection is a bid process and covered in the property tax bills under the general fund. Part of Peoria doing business. After a time people complained that the fee was really a double tax which city officials denied over and over. So with this last action on the budget, money used out of the general fund used to pay PDC, was moved to other uses and the garbage fee was raised and also included the tote rental fee. Now the garbage fee subsides the price the city pays for garbage collection for real but isn’t PDC’s problem. It’s just a way to shuffle monies around the general fund and looks great on paper. The old shell game. So the city is responsible for collecting it. Hard to say what the city is apying this time to do this but to IAWC, they handed over $80k for the service.

  • checking for details

    I am highly aware of what the garbage tax was originally designed. POP, NEAT, What I would guess that you don’t know was that it was also at time used for other things. There were $2000+ grants that went to three neighborhoods which were supposed to be lasting programs for improvement and a variety of other uses. Currently it is supposed to be fully funding the garbage contract in stead of property taxes. They have long spent that allocated money on other things. Since PDC has the contract the city manager with the approval of the council set up that the taxpayers would collect the tax” and then pay PDC. What should be happening, since no other tax money is going reportedly going to fund the garbage contact then we should eliminate that contract and have PDC direct bill each household. Then the city should kill the tax and all costs associated with it. That will never happen because the council would not have access to spend the money as they wish, PDC would lose more profit which might endanger campaign contributions, etc.

  • I am only talking about the Garbage Fee. Why they called it that in the beginning is a mystery. I am well aware of the grants but they have nothing to do with the general fund or the garbage fee.

  • Angry Landlord

    So first the city put a $25 dollar charge on each of my rental properties to create a list of rental properties for their code enforcement agents to scrutinize. Then the city doubled that fee to force me to take a class on how to be a landlord. Now they adds the cost of garbage service to me. Placing the cost on the property owner is another example of the city’s war against landlords. This is why so many landlords are leaving the City of Peoria. I may be one of them soon at this rate.

  • checking for details

    I brought it up because those grants along with several other items WERE funded by the garbage tax, it just was not made public where the funding source was. Items like this are hidden in the budget along with a chunk of money that is not dedicated. also district reps can spend money without council approval up to certain dollar amounts–allows for a great deal of pork and waste.

  • Angry Tenant

    @ Angry Landlord. You ever stop to think that part of the problem is the slumlords in this town? I have had many slumlords who take every shortcut in the book to avoid doing the right thing. All the laws are setup in your favor. Such as when the time comes for the tenant to move out the law allows you 45 days to give me my deposit money back. Plus the burden of proving the landlord is out of line is skewed unfavorably to the tenant. And for crying out loud stop renting your properties out to the trashiest of the trash but alas the all mighty dollar clouds your judgement.

  • Martin Palmer

    Garbage bill (tax) showed up today 12/20/12 says it is due 12/21/12 Empty house for sale no garbage. Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said, “We don’t have any interest in seeing that there are vacant properties that are in the City of Peoria, we want to see them occupied. Wana buy our move in reddy house Mr. Manager? In the heart of the wonderful East Village TIF, Ren Park, and Crime free Dont Shoot East Bluff.

  • We also got our Garbage bill today (12/20). It’s due 12/21. Delinquent on 1/2/13. The City will no doubt make money on late fees.

  • I just saw this over on CW Notes:

    “Unfortunately, there was a printing error on the bill. The due date was incorrectly listed as December 21, 2012. The bill is not due until December 31, 2012. Additionally, the “delinquent date” of January 2, 2013 was also incorrect. The true delinquent date is January 10, 2013.”

  • checking for details

    PDC should be billing households for garbage service since they are no longer paid from “property taxes”. The city is subsidizing PDC’s bottom line by the tax payers having to pay someone else to pay for PDC’s billing portion. Altough the family and PDC make significant contributions to many councilperson’s campaign funds and friends of councilmembers were rewarded with jobs, the taxpayer has got to stop footing the bill. There is extra padded into the garbage tax for the city. This would eliminate that that pork in the budget and increase transperancy. It would eliminate the garbage “fee”. It would allow only those households that are occupied and would need the garbage service to pay for the garbage service. It would allow for competetion in the field eliminating a tax funded monopoly.

  • Martin Palmer

    The City is exploring how it might include
    the garbage collection fee as a non ad valorem assessment on the 2014 property tax bills.