Sewer, garbage rates inch up under FY12 budget proposal

ALBANY, Ga. -- The head of the city's public works department told commissioners Tuesday that his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal includes a nominal $1 total increase in sewer and garbage rates to help fund increases in personnel and fuel costs.

In presenting his $27.5 million budget request Tuesday, Director Phil Roberson said his budget will see and estimated increase in expenses by $3 million over the last fiscal year, due largely to increases in personnel costs and skyrocketing fuel costs.

To help offset the costs, sewer rates and garbage rates would go up roughly 50 cents each per month in the next fiscal year.

Roberson said some of the department's biggest challenges ahead will be implementing the roster of special local-option sales tax projects approved by the voters in November and continue discussions on how to prolong the life of the city's inert landfill, which is close to capacity.

As Roberson gave his presentation, discussion among commissioners turned to the tipping fees at the landfill which is operated by Dougherty County.

Some on the commission urged their fellow elected officials to keep an eye on the arrangement to make sure that the city was being treated fairly and research the possibility of hauling the city's waste elsewhere.

Roberson said that city officials are in discussions with county officials about the situation at the landfill. Currently the city of Albany is Dougherty County's largest customer at the landfill.