Garbage Fee Approved by Shreveport Council on a 4-3 Vote
The Shreveport City Council voted 4-3 to approve a $7 monthly garbage fee.
Voting for the increase were John Nickelson, James Green, Willie Bradford and Jerry Bowman. LeVette Fuller, Grayson Boucher and James Flurry voted no. The council also agreed to set up an Enterprise Fund for the sanitation department. But the $5 million dollars generated by this new fee will not fully cover the cost of the department, so the fund will have to be subsidized by the general fund to the tune of at least $3.5 million each year.
Mayor Adrian Perkins has told the council the $5 million freed up from the general fund will be used to fund a pay raise for sanitation workers and the rest will go towards the dwindling reserve fund. The pay increase will cost about $400,000 dollars.
But Chief Administrative Officer Sherricka Fields Jones told the Council:
The funding would go first to the solid waste workers. Any remaining balance would go toward the gap that we currently have between revenues and expenditures. Right now the city is spending about $6 million more than what we are bringing in in revenues. So that is going to help reduce that gap so that we don't have as much money that's going out in a negative balance.
The Mayor says the money will go to sanitation workers and the reserve. Is that something different?
Fields Jones sent us this explanation this morning:
It is the same thing. Closing the revenue/expense gap does increase reserves. No other new general fund expenditures are planned. The reason we have some reserve projected at the end of 2019 is because we estimated starting with just over $8 in reserves from the end of 2018. Remember this is based on budget. The 2018 audit will give us the final actual number. So the overspending gap basically pulls down the reserve. It's like pulling a portion from a savings account and you still have some left over.
It goes into effect May 1st. Residents will see the increase on the June bill.