Homer Village Board Considering Amending Commercial Trash Fees Following Outcry From Property Owners
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Homer Village Board Considering Amending Commercial Trash Fees Following Outcry From Property Owners
Amid complaints from landlords and business owners the Village of Homer has partially suspended recently approved trash disposal fees.
With multiple property owners saying they did not receive enough notice and questioning the need to increase fees the Village of Homer is not totally enforcing its new commercial trash collection fee schedule.
Back in January the village Board of trustees adopted the new trash fees for all commercial properties and multi-family properties with three or more apartment units. Those property owners must pay a separate fee and use a designated trash container if they want to use the village's trash hauler.
At the time of the vote Homer Mayor Genevieve Suits said rising costs were forcing the village to adopt the new commercial waste fees.
As of March 1st it was supposed to cost commercial property owners and multi family dwelling owners $9 per week to have their trash picked up. In addition those owners that choose to use the service must use a designated 95 gallon trash can that will be provided by the hauler. 
The impacted property owners don't have to use the village hauler and can hire their own hauler, but they must provide for trash collection. 
For those that only want their recycling picked up they can pay $5 per week and receive a preapproved recycling bin.
For those that need a large container their are dumpster options available, the price for a 2 yard dumpster is over $150 a month a 4 yard dumpster is over $195 a month.
The owners of multi-family apartment houses with three or more units are also impacted by the change, they are considered a commercial property under village code. 
Last night multiple property owners showed up to the Village Board to ask that the new fees be tabled or reconsidered, however the comments and concerns were not heard because two of the Village Trustees were absent from the meeting and therefor the meeting had to be canceled due to a lack of quorum for the meeting. When municipal boards meet they must have a majority of members present to conduct business. 
Local realtor and property owner Steve Cinquanti is among those questioning the fees. Cinquanti says the Village has not clearly presented the argument for the new fees.
Deb Slack who owns and operates Kory's Place Diner and rents out mobile homes near the diner already has a dumpster for her restaurant, but now faces separate charges for the rentals. Slack feels that the rentals should not be treated differently than other residential properties when it comes to trash fees.
In response to the concerns the village has suspended the fee for multi family properties, but is moving forward with fees for commercial properties.
Trustee Mike Berry who is up for reelection next week says the fees need to be revisited, he was not present when the changes were passed and feels maybe the decision was not thoroughly reviewed. Berry wants to consider increasing the number of apartment units that trigger the commercial fee.

Trustee Kevin Slack said he felt rushed on the decision and believes he made a mistake supporting the fees.

The board will meet again on April 2nd and the issue is expected to be discussed at that time.
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