The Bossier City Council is looking for ways to tighten the belt for the 2023 budget. During a budget hearing on Tuesday, council members asked department heads about ways they could trim spending in light of inflation and higher costs for just about everything from fuel to basic supplies.

Each department head has been asked by the administration to present a budget with 2% cuts. But doing that will be a challenge since the costs for most items from fuel and supplies to chemicals and equipment  is dramatically higher.

It was noted during the meeting that the solid waste budget is running out of a reserve and a couple of councilmembers noted it might be time to look at rate increases to cover the higher costs.

What's Included in the Current Garbage Contract?

Bossier City entered into a 5 year contract with Live Oak Sanitation in 2019. That contract is up for renewal next year. Under terms of the deal, Bossier residents pay $24 dollars a month for garbage pickup. $17 dollars of that fee goes to Live Oak while the other $8.00 goes into the Public Services and Sanitation Fund (An Enterprise Fund).

The city gets about $1.7 million a year for the Enterprise Fund and it is used for public services, such as street sweeping and other waste collection that may be needed. This fund was established to accrue funds to pay for the collection services for the citizens and to avoid a cost increase to the citizen as long as possible. But that fund has been dwindling and now Councilmembers say it might be time to look at a rate increase for residents.

No one has talked about how much of an increase is needed.

In Shreveport, residents pay a $7 sanitation fee on the water bill. It appears on the bill as "Garbage Fee." The revenue generated by this fee is deposited into the Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, which supports the city's solid waste collection.

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