Residents likely will be asked to pay more next year for garbage pickup, city officials said last month at a finance meeting with the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.
"There's no way the city can sustain funding (trash pickup) each year. The costs will go up," said Frank Migliozzi, 1st Ward Councilman.
Exactly how much the city will ask for in an upcoming levy is not yet clear, Mayor James Melfi and finance committee member Migliozzi said. They each deferred to Auditor Sam Zirafi, who said he did not have an exact millage worked out yet.
The meeting was required because Girard is in fiscal emergency. Council was "committed" to putting a levy to the voters by the spring MIgliozzi said.
The state financial planning commission administrator, Paul Marshall, said getting an additional levy passed would take pressure off the city's general fund, which is subsidizing trash collection by about $125,000, according to city officials. The city is expecting a similar shortfall for 2010.
According to an amended appropriations ordinance passed Monday night, the city spent about $468,732 for garbage collection this year. That figure could go up by about $10,000, according to Zirafi.
The city's garbage hauler is Allied Waste. Girard has a one-year contract extension for 2010 before they negotiate a new agreement.
Girard attempted to pass a 0.9 mill additional garbage levy in November 2008 on top of the 1.2-mills it already collects. Voters approved renewing the 1.2-mill levy but rejected the additional by about 53 percent of the vote.
Melfi, who said residents get cheaper service through the levies, said even if the levy fails, Girard may not switch to individual billing. That is, if the city's general fund can continue supporting the shortfall.
"As long as the general fund is able to sustain the additional dollars, I would not support billing out individually. ... Now, if we're not (able) and the citizens turn down the levy, we may have no choice," Melfi said.