Mayor Henry’s administration and the city council reach a compromise on the distribution of ARPA funds for garbage fees

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) — The administration of Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and the Fort Wayne City Council reached an agreement Tuesday night on the distribution of $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. dollars earned.

The compromise to move forward with an ordinance on the solid waste installment plan represents one of the final steps in a long fight to clarify how some of the city’s remaining ARPA funds will be used for eligible expenditures by Fort Wayne’s solid waste department should be.

The regulation would adjust the monthly household garbage fee for single-family homes from $12 to $15.80 starting July 1, 2023. The rate would then increase according to a number of factors including the consumer price index (CPI) on January 1, 2024. The semi-annual rate adjustments would continue until January 1, 2025 when the rate would be set at $18.00 plus any previous CPI adjustment becomes. and then the rates would begin to adjust annually.

Shan Gunawardena, the city’s director of public works, says he expects CPI to be about 3.5% each cycle.

Although garbage fees for citizens will eventually increase, the ARPA allocation decision would delay adjustments until July 1, 2023.

“Solid Waste’s administration and staff have done an excellent job and created a win-win tradeoff,” said Councilman Russ Jehl. “The Solid Waste Fund will be solvent, Solid Waste Operations will be fully funded, and the taxpayer will save $2 million over what we started with the original proposal.”

Final approval of this compromise could be given at next week’s city council meeting.

The waste rate has remained the same since 2018 and was originally due to be adjusted in 2020, but this did not happen due to the performance of the previous contractor.

Following his presentation, Gunawardena expressed optimism about the compromise and believes it will benefit the citizens of Fort Wayne over time

“And now everything is getting much better. We have a great contractor, we have a great plan and now we have a great price. We’re ready to move forward, we probably won’t have to talk about solid waste for the next eight years or so,” Gunawardena said. Mayor Henry’s administration and the city council reach a compromise on the distribution of ARPA funds for garbage fees

Dais Johnston

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