Dave Reid

Common Council Approves Snow and Ice Fee

By - Sep 15th, 2008 09:37 am
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This Common Council meeting was called to handle the Mayor’s proposed 2008 and 2009 snow and ice removal fee increases as well as a proposed increase to the solid waste fee for 2009.

Resolution, 080483, proposed an increase to the 2008 snow and ice removal fee to pay for cost overruns due to the record breaking snowfall Milwaukee experienced this past winter.  It was pointed out during this discussion that non-taxable entities will have to pay this fee so it shares the cost of the service to all entities that receive services.  As the funding was need to cover an existing budget gap the Common Council generally supported it and the fee increase was approved.

Resolution, 080485, proposed an additional increase, approximately $8 per household, to the 2009 snow and ice fee to cover an estimate rises in costs.  Alderman Robert Bauman pointed out that even with the increases “it really leaves out a major service enhancement” referring to the clearing of sidewalks and curb cuts to allow handicap and elderly residents the ability to cross the street safely.  This problem had been brought up by numerous residents at earlier Public Works Committee meetings and the failure of this fee increase to address this issue raised concerns for Alderman Bauman.  This resolution was not approved by the Common Council.

Resolution, 080484, proposed an increase of approximately $37 per household to the 2009 solid waste fee.  This increase again raised debate on the council floor and concerns over the impact of these increases on citizens.  Additionally concerns over the perceived belief of citizens that city hall is always looking to grow were discussed and it was brought up that the City of Milwaukee has 2000 less employees than 20 years ago.  Alderman Terry Witkowski said these cuts had hurt the City of Milwaukee’s ability to provide quality services and to insure quality infrastructure saying that it “has it shown up in service?  Has it shown up in infrastructure?  Yes”.  He went on to state that “the fact of the matter is we have been downsizing”.  This resolution was placed on file by the Common Council, stopping the fee increase for the time being but it may be revisited in the future.

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