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City feels pinch of garbage cart maintenance

By Patrick Lynn

The department of public works is running low on garbage carts.

The Stevens Point Finance Committee on Monday will consider whether the city can fill a request for 427 new carts this year, or if it should wait until next year, at a cost of $25,123. The quote came from North Caroline-based Schafer Systems International, which will charge $54.75 for each 95-gallon cart and a little over $1,700 for shipping.

City Treasurer Corey Ladick said the expense isn’t included in the 2019 budget, saying it was “unforeseen” during last year’s budgeting process.

“There are a variety of reasons why the city needs to have garbage carts on hand, including replacement of damaged/stolen carts, new residential properties being constructed, and resident requests to change to a different size cart,” Ladick’s memo to the finance committee reads.

The city has two options, Ladick said. The cost can be taken from the city’s contingency fund now, or the cost can be built into next year’s capital budget. In the meantime, he said, residents in need of a new cart can use a smaller, 65-gallon cart.

Ladick also said in his memo that requests for next year’s capital budget already “exceeded available funds.”

“So adding additional expense to the capital budget may not be the best solution anyway,” he said.

According to Ladick, the city’s garbage cart program began in 2008, with the city spending about $1.743 million on new garbage and recycling carts and new garbage trucks.

The finance committee meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 10, in the Community Room of the Stevens Point Police Department. The public is encouraged to attend.