Right now, Bridgeville households pay a flat $50 per-quarter fee for trash collection.
But is there a better way for the borough to charge residents for that service?
Jason Sarasnick raised that question earlier this month when he asked the borough administration to gather data about other methods of billing for refuse pickup.
“I’d like to take a look and see if we’re doing the best we can with what we have, or if there’s another option,” he said (in what might have been his last act as a borough councilman).
Last year, South Fayette Township’s Board of Commissioners were on the verge of enacting a flat fee structure like Bridgeville’s, but residents protested, arguing that a $53.73 per-quarter fee would hurt middle class residents (though the measure would have exempted residents age 66 years or older). As the Post-Gazette reported:
Mr. Bob Wohleber, organizer of the Facebook group South Fayette Taxpayer Alliance, suggested commissioners raise the millage rate instead. He noted the garbage fee wasn’t proportional to property values, nor could it be deducted. “The millage increase is clearly the fairer option.”
In the end, South Fayette’s commissioners abandoned the flat fee idea and raised property taxes by 1 mill to pay for trash collection.
For a family living in a $100,000 house, having trash collection tied to millage saves $115 per year over South Fayette’s proposed flat-fee system.
A family living in a $300,000 house now pays about $85 more each year than they would under a flat-fee system.
Is it time for Bridgeville switch to a millage-based system, too? At the moment, council isn’t certain what such a move would mean in terms of millage changes and how it might impact households around the borough.
“[I would] like to have enough information so that we can look and say, ‘Is this way the best?'” Sarasnick said when he requested the fee system evaluation during January’s meeting: