Niagara Falls residents would pay a garbage user fee under a new city budget by Mayor Paul Dyster.
Dyster is recommending that the city charge residents 218 dollars a year as a garbage fee. He said this is one part of his proposed 2020 budget that could lead the city on a path to financial stability.
“We have to provide basic services and we have not been charging people enough in taxes to pay for the services over a period of several years,” Dyster said. “We’ve plugged the gap with casino revenues and we can’t afford to do it anymore.”
Dyster said the garbage fee is badly needed in a city that’s struggling to cover police and fire department expenses.
“So it takes some of the strain off of those other departments where we were constantly scrimping trying to pay for all of those things, plus garbage with just property tax revenue,” Dyster said.
Niagara Fall Councilman Chris Voccio said he’s not surprised by the mayor’s proposed budget and that he doesn’t like it. He said he also doesn’t agree with the garbage user fee.
“We need to stop going back to the tax payers year after year with increase after increase fee after fee,” Voccio said. “Instead we’ve got to figure out how to operate this building how to operate city government within the revenue that we generate.”
Dyster said this 2020 budget with a garbage fee offers a compromise that’s needed.
“It’s been, I think great for our residents that they haven’t had to pay separately for the solid waste disposal,” Dyster said. “We just can’t keep continuing to do that into the future.”
Dyster said he also wants to reduce the city’s reliance on casino revenue.
Council members will meet Monday on the mayor’s proposed budget. There will be a public hearing later this month.