Trash pickup fee discussion continues

Sinclaire Sparkman • Sep 28, 2018 at 8:19 PM

Approval for a sanitation fee for Lebanon residents was discussed at the Lebanon City Council’s work session Thursday after the council voted to defer the measure at its last meeting. 

The fee of $11 comes as city officials consider the costs of growth. Currently, funding for trash pickup for about 9,700 homes comes from the city’s general fund. 

Public works director Jeff Baines said the sanitation fee has been on the city’s radar for several years. 

As it stands, the trash pickup fee would bring in about $1.2 million to cover costs like tipping fees, equipment, supplies and employee pay. If a resident decided to join the recycling program, the sanitation fee would be reduced to $9. 

The recycling program currently costs $15 a month for curbside mixed use recycling. The city began the recycling program with a pilot about two years ago, and now it serves about 700 customers. Anyone interested in joining the program may call Lebanon City Hall at 615-444-2839. 

Councilors also discussed impact fees for apartments and other multi-family residential developments. The council considered an increase in the fee in August and at first voted to increase the fee from $1,000 to $2,000. The item failed on second reading. 

“The issue I would have with it is the 55 and up developments. There’s two different developments coming to Ward 1, and I kind of feel like we’re discriminating against those who live in multifamily as opposed to those who live in single family,” Councilor Joey Carmack said. 

Paul Corder, who was not at the work session, recently told Carmack, while single-family permits are on the rise, the number of building permits issued for multifamily residential developments has dropped, according to Carmack. 

“This is an impact fee, and apartments and developments impact the city’s budget,” Mayor Bernie Ash said. “I think we need to look at this more as an impact fee than as a revenue stream. We don’t know what’s controlling the market now.”

Finance commissioner Stuart Lawson said last year permits brought in $25,000, and this year the fees brought in about $15,000.  

Items on the agenda include two annexations, one on Old LaGuardo Road and one on Hickory Ridge Road, as well as a residential development on Southeast Tater Peeler Road that split the planning commission 7-2 in favor of the requests. A large number of neighbors also showed up to voice opposition to the development. 

The council will also consider: 

• a bridge dedication for the late Graydon Robinson.

• funds to upgrade equipment to read water meters from the street. 

• the purchase of 100 body cameras for the Lebanon Police Department for $65,488. 

• a replacement heating and air conditioning unit for the Jimmy Floyd Center. 

• hiring a meter technician to the meter reader department. 

• hiring a crew leader for the water system and a leak technician. 

• match of a grant of $4,000 from the Tennessee Environmental Council’s Recycling and Compost Education Project grant. 

The council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Town Meeting Hall at 200 N. Castle Heights.

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