The People's Tribune

Louisiana City Council Votes To Increase Water Bill For Recycling

Louisiana City Council voted to increase residence monthly utility bill by 25 cents on Monday, Nov. 25.

The rate increase is the result of council members reestablishing a local recycling drop-off. Pike County Sheltered Workshops operates the recycling trailer located within the city.

Due to decreased demand of re-cycled material, the workshop could not continue offering services free of charge to cities throughout the county. In order to reestablish the services which ended in September, the Louisiana needed to fund $275 per month.

Already working on a tight budget, city council members weighed alternatives to the work-shop’s recycling trailer such as opt-in recycling and curbside recycling bins. Ultimately, these options came with a higher cost to residents.

Seven members of council voted in favor of the 25-cent increase, leaving council member Jeff Salois as the sole opposition.
Salois later commented he sup-ports recycling but had concerns which were not fully addressed to change his vote to a yes.

“The polling that was sent out came back with an overwhelming response of ‘no’ from the public. I get that this poll was sent out before finding out the recycling trailer was not coming back, but no second polls sent out,” Salois commented.

Mayor Marvin Brown pointed out the survey occurred before the recycling trailer was removed.

Feedback from the survey showed that since residents already had a recycling bin, they were not interested in curbside recycling at the time.
Another sticking point for Salois was Pike Workshop’s unwillingness to negotiate the price of the service. “In my view, everything is negotiable. If a service is not negotiable, then I feel it safest to step back from the deal.”

Brown noted that the Pike Sheltered Workshop was willing to pick up the bin twice a week versus their previous once a week pickup.

The council hoped this would help alleviate overfilling which occurred often.

“I don’t feel the public should be paying for service that they’re not all using,” Salois stated. “Again, my personal views on the subject does not guide my views on government. I represent people and overwhelmingly heard from the public they were not interested in adding to their already growing utility bills.”

The city plans to continue exploring other options for recycling.

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