Lewisburg looks at trash rates, mayoral salary

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Lewisburg City Council handled a varied agenda Tuesday evening, moving forward with the city’s budget for the next year, trash pickup, and a salary increase for the mayor’s office, among other items.

Councilmen accepted a bid from Waste Management to continue trash and recycling pick-up for the city.

The current contract, for three years with two option years that the city exercised, expired this year and the service went out for bid, with the same terms.

City Manager Randall Dunn said that their had been interest from several companies during the process but only two bids were received, one of which would not do recycling, so the bid was awarded to Waste Management.

City Treasurer Donna Park told the council at their work session that the contract was currently costing the city $13.87 per household per month for collections, mainly due to the number of residents not required to move bins to the street, for which an additional fee is billed, and nonpayment of bills.

The city was losing roughly $2,500 per month under the current rate structure, Park said.

Councilmen voted to increase the current $13 household rate included monthly on water bills to $14 per month moving forward.

Park prepared projections of the financial impact of adding one, two, or three dollars to the rate.

Councilman Nicholas Tipper suggested increasing the rate by the minimum necessary for the city to break even and re-examining the issue again in the future as needed.

The additional dollar per month kept the city at a break even point for the next year, Park said.

Commercial rates will increase as well, from $20 per month to $25.

Park said that rates have remained unchanged since 2012.

The monthly fee for trash services are included on monthly water bills.

Compensation for serving as the mayor of Lewisburg will also be increasing.

Former mayor Bob Phillips, who along with local banker Bill Marsh and former mayor Barbara Woods serve on the city’s compensation committee, proposed the increase at the council’s work session the previous Tuesday.

Compensation for the office of the mayor has remained unchanged since 1961, said Phillips, at $150 per month.

Phillips said that the committee compared cities with the same type of government charter in the region to arrive at a figure of $850 per month as reasonable for the duties of the mayor.

Winchester, Manchester, and Fayetteville, all of which have lower populations than Lewisburg, said Phillips, pay their mayors $500, $800, and $900 per month, respectively.

Phillips said that, based on those comparisons, they arrived at their suggested increase.

Councilman Jerry Gordon made a motion suggesting the increase be phased in over a three year period, which the council passed unanimously.

The council approved on second reading the proposed city budget for the 208-19 fiscal year.

The approximately $14.5 million budget includes a three percent cost of living increase for city employees.

The council also approved an increase in hangar rental fees at the city’s Ellington Airport and the transfer of an inoperable Dodge Charger from the police department to Spot Lowe Technical Center for automotive students to use in class.