Sheffield Lake residents will pay an extra 48 cents a month for leaf removal as part of an expanded leaf pickup program the city will launch this fall.
City Council adopted legislation Aug. 13 to raise residents’ monthly trash fee by 48 cents to help cover the program’s costs.
The fee will show up on residents’ September bills.
Sheffield Lake, like other neighboring communities, passes refuse fees onto residents. Sheffield Lake residents’ current monthly refuse fee of $22.24 covers weekly garbage and recyclable removal and monthly bulk pickup. The 48-cent leaf removal fee will increase the bill to $22.72 a month.
The new fee will bring in an estimated $18,720 annually.
The city will put the new leaf fee toward the purchase of a leaf vacuum and trailer, expected to cost nearly $60,000, and a Ford F-550 truck, expected to cost $47,000, to haul it. Services Superintendent Pat Hastings said the Ford will also be used for snow removal.
Council adopted the legislation after its first reading as an emergency so the city can acquire equipment quickly. Otherwise, council would have had to gone through the process of three readings.
Hastings noted that he had been talking with council for several months about expanding the loose-leaf curb pickup program, which homeowners welcomed when the city re-instituted it two years ago.
Homeowners had been required to rake and bag leaves when the city abandoned leaf pickup 20 years ago due to strapped finances. Now residents just need to rake the leaves to the curb and they will be picked up. Hastings said an additional benefit of curbside leaf pickup is storm drains are not clogging, resulting in fewer complaints about street flooding.
Michele Murphy is a freelance reporter from Avon Lake. Send questions to email@example.com.