By: Diane Benjamin
The City of Bloomington has been struggling with balancing the solid waste enterprise fund for many years. Don’t forget, until 2005 the taxes you already paid covered the service. The enterprise fund was established only to tax you more until the fund balances. Yearly 3% increases haven’t kept the fund in balance, so the city spent 4 meetings putting out data in preparation for more changes.
Decatur has private service with the rates controlled by the City Council. I found an interesting article from 2018 when Bloomington’s top two guys had the same jobs in Decatur. Tim Gleason and Billy Tyus already know about privatizing service. (link below)
In 2018 Decatur raised rates for the first time in EIGHT YEARS from $14.50 per month to $17.50. The charge increases $.50 a year until 2021. Bloomington increases rates 3% a year without a Council vote.
Bloomington’s rates back in 2014-2016, they have increased much faster than the inflation rate: https://blnnews.com/2016/01/21/solid-waste-lost-in-translation/
Bloomington’s current rates: https://www.cityblm.org/government/departments/finance/utility-billing/utility-fees
The private hauler rates in Decatur are close to half what Bloomington charges!
Nothing will change unless citizens demand change.
Recycling and brush are included in Decatur’s rates, Tim Gleason and Billy Tyus will know what Decatur does with bulk collection.
Bloomington can continue to cut service and raise rates or realize the obvious: privatization is the only responsible option. This article claims Decatur had 16 hauler complaints in a year and a half: https://herald-review.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/decatur-city-council-approves-garbage-fee-increase/article_81ec00c7-a5a4-5608-840f-d28c8296caa1.html
Bloomington gets complaints like missed pickups, complaints aren’t unusual. I’ve written about at least one before: https://blnnews.com/2019/06/15/government-or-privatize/
It is way past time to have a privatization discussion.
Below is the agenda item where Decatur raised the rates: https://decatur.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=1576&MeetingID=160