Starting October 1, Sherman residents will see a slight savings on their monthly trash pick up.
The city formalized a reduction of its solid waste fees that was discussed throughout the budgeting season, and next month, residential customers will see a $6 per month reduction on their monthly bill.
“As you remember, we decided to lower the residential solid waste rates to offset the proximity tax increase of the adopted budget,” Sherman Director of Finance Mary Lawrence said.
The reduction to residential trash pick up was first discussed in June during the city’s annual budget retreat. At the time, city officials proposed a $4 reduction in fees to offset a nearly six-cent increase to the city’s property tax rates. Officials said this reduction could be expanded to cover all of the increase in the tax rate, based on the average home price within the city.
The reduction was expanded to $6 per month following comments by council member Shawn Teamann, who expressed a desire to make the increasing tax rate as painless to residents as possible. This will bring the average residential customer’s monthly pick up charge to $12.75. City officials said there are some situations, including additional carts, that may affect change the rate for a small number of customers.
However, Monday night’s change won’t lead to saving for all of the city’s solid waste customers. Commercial customers will see a 20-percent increase in monthly charges starting next month.
Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said the increase to commercial customers is intended to offset the savings passed on to residential customers. This, combined with an expected payment from the Texoma Area Solid Waste Authority, is expected to make up for the lost revenue from the residential rate cut.
“The city believe that between the TASWA funds and the commercial fees, this will end as a complete wash for the city,” Strauch said.
As a part of research leading into the budgeting process, city officials noticed that Sherman’s commercial fees were significantly less than those of nearby and comparable cities. Strauch said many of the commercial customers who do business in other cities would be used to these fees and should not expect a big impact.
The largest impact will likely be felt by larger commercial users, including construction companies with heavier and larger loads, he added.
City approves TASWA bonds
City officials continued to discuss solid waste disposal when they agreed to refinance nearly $10.25 million in bonds for TASWA. In 2010, TASWA issued $17.22 million in bonds to refinance its debt dating back to the construction of the landfill in 2004.
This second series of bands is now callable, and city officials said there is an opportunity for the landfill to see cost savings of about $872,500 over the lifetime of the bond. By issuing the bonds at a lower rate than the 2010 series, the the landfill will be able to pay off the original debt and continue paying the new bonds at a lower interest rate.
In order to move forward, the initiative must be approved by the three founding cities in TASWA. Both Sherman and Denison approved similar resolutions in support Monday night, and Gainesville is expected to follow suit when it meets Tuesday night.