Princeton City Council approves rate increases impacting residents, non-residents

PRINCETON — It’s budget-planning season for the city of Princeton, which means taking a second look at ways to improve the expenditures and revenues to create a healthy balance.

In doing so, city manager Theresa Wittenauer has proposed three rate increases to the city council, which are all on track to being approved.

The one rate increase that is going to impact city residents will be for garbage collection.

The monthly collection rate will be increasing from $10.50 to $11.50 per residential unit within the city limits. The monthly collection rate will also increase to $22 per residential unit for those outside of the city limits.

Wittenauer said the rate increase will help with replacing garbage trucks in the future, which comes at a hefty expense for the city. She said the current budget does not support the cost of a new truck, which will be needed is a few years.

“We need to start thinking ahead so we’re not having to borrow this money to replace these vehicles,” she said.

Wittenauer said the garbage rates have not been increased in more than 10 years. Garbage collection also includes recycling and yard waste.

Mayor Joel Quiram said garbage trucks only last about three years and really take a beating.

The city is also planning to raise its bulk water and sewage disposal rates. This is going to impact residents who live outside of the city limits who use these services.

The bulk water rate is increasing from $10 to $20 per 1,000 gallons. The bulk sewage disposal rate will increase from $35 to $70 for one-time dumping and from $750 to $1,500 for annual unlimited dumping.

Wittenauer said Princeton is one of the few communities in the area that take sewage disposal. With the impact of the cost to the city’s systems, the city needs to make sure it’s recovering the expense for extra dumping, she said.

Plus, with Princeton being one of the only communities in the area that takes sewage disposal from outside city limits, Wittenauer said it could see an increase in dumping in the future.

The first readings of ordinances amending the rates were approved by the council on Monday. A second and final reading of these ordinances will take place during the council’s next regular council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 15.

Before that regular meeting, the council plans to meet in special session at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the 2021-22 budget which, commences on May 1. The meeting is open to the public.

Selling off equipment

The city council on Monday also approved the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of equipment the city no longer has use for. Wittenauer said the plan is to either auction off the items or use them for trade-ins. The items include:

• A 2005 Ford Explorer from the water department.

• A 1996 Ford L7000 garbage truck.

• A 2007 white Impala from the police and water department.

• A 2008 black Impala from the police department.

• A 2014 Dodge Charger from the police department.

A second reading of the ordinance needs to be approved by the council to make authorizing the sales of property final.

Goldie Rapp

Goldie Rapp is the Associate Editor of the Bureau County Republican and Putnam County Record. She has worked for Shaw Media since 2013.