City approves increased trash pickup fees

City Commissioners voted unanimously during their April 19 meeting to increase sanitation rates.

The new rates go into effect May 1.

Commissioners voted to increase rates for residential trash pickup by $1.35 from $13.65 to $15 monthly.

The senior citizen rate will increase by 93 cents from $9.57 to $10.50 monthly.

Extra pick-up fees will increase $4 from $11 to $15 monthly. Pick-up of a large appliance will increase $4 from $16 to $20.

The cost of a 3-yard commercial container, which is the most commonly used in the city, will increase by $6.60 from $66.20 to $72.80 monthly.

Cardboard recycling will increase $2 from $20 to $22 monthly.

The city offers a reduced senior rate for trash pickup for those 65 and older who are the principal resident or owner of the property.

The rate is about a 30 percent discount.

The application for the senior rate is available on the city website or customers can call the utility billing and customer service office at 406-727-7660.

The last residential and commercial rate increase for trash pickup services was in March 2020.

In the meantime, the department’s costs have increased due to increased operations, equipment, fuel and landfill costs, Public Works Director Paul Skubinna said told commissioners.

City considering study of landfill options

The initial proposal included raising the senior rate by 93 cents and Commissioner Rick Tryon asked staff to consider not raising that rate, but staff said they considered the request, but since it’s already significantly discounted, no increase would create a situation where those customers were being too heavily supported by the rest of the community.

“We felt like with the unprecedented times that it was more appropriate to propose a little bit of an increase for everybody across the board. It’s a difficult time for everybody and we don’t take that lightly,” Skubinna said.

There was no public comment on the increased rates during the meeting and commissioner voted unanimously to approve staff’s proposal.

For more background on the rate change, public works operations and factors in staff’s proposal, read our previous coverage:

City considering increase in trash pickup fee

City considering trash pickup rate increase; landfill study approved

City proposing trash pickup rate increase