The proposed operating budget includes a transfer of $500,000 from the General Fund to the Residential Refuse Fund to fund in-sourcing of yard waste collection. Why was a General Fund source chosen for this funding gap? What would be the estimated increase in the residential refuse fee to remove the necessity of this General Fund transfer? (Mayor Wilson)
The FY 2022 proposed budget for the Residential Refuse Fund reflects a proposed $500,000 one-time transfer from the General Fund to support the purchase of two rear loader trucks needed for the in-sourcing of yard waste collection. Given the size of this one-time expense, the fact that there had been no previous depreciation set aside because this program is new, and the recent significant stormwater utility fee increase and increased real estate tax bills, it was recommended that the General Fund cover this one-time start-up cost, but that in future years all yard waste costs (including depreciation on these new vehicles) be funded out of the solid waste rate. If the City were to pursue a fee increase to cover this expense, it would apply to 20,647 households served by yard waste collection. There are 19,274 billable households and 1,373 non-billable households. Therefore, any fee increase would impact both the fee revenue and the General Fund assistance provided to cover non-billable households. In order to cover the expense of the rear loader trucks with a fee increase, the fee would have to increase by approximately $24.22, from $460 to $484.22. This fee increase would result in a $33,254 increase in General Fund assistance to cover the non-billable households. Because the Residential Refuse Fund was created in FY 2020, there was not sufficient fund balance to cover the expense.