City Manager Darrell Blenniss said residents don't have to wait for the water bills to come in the mail to pay. Credits will be added to accounts if people want to pay part of the bill every month.
Pickup points will be established for glass
The new $10 fee will not fully fund garbage and recycling pickup, so the rest of the cost will come out of the general fund. Commissioners have not decided whether residents will be given carts with wheels or smaller bins with no wheels for their recyclables. All recyclables, except glass, will be collected on the curbside. Pickup points around the city will be established for glass.
Residents will still be able to use county convenience centers but will still be charged the $10 fee.
The city also will start to charge 33 downtown businesses that have received daily garbage collection without charge. Commissioners have not decided what rate those businesses will be billed.
Businesses downtown that have only once-a-week pickup will not be charged.
The city decided against a previously discussed stormwater fee of $2.25 a month for residents and $4.35 for businesses.
$227,000 will fund stormwater programs
Instead, commissioners decided to increase the payroll tax to 1.25 percent. Of the money collected, $227,000 will be used to fund stormwater programs required by federal law such as leaf pickup and street sweeping.
These programs are the minimum requirements. The city will have to be in full compliance with the federal Clean Water Act, inspecting new construction and enforcing its stormwater ordinances, by 2007.
The rest of the payroll tax collected will be used for operational costs, and what is left over will be reserved for capital projects.
The capital projects account pays for equipment such as police cruisers and snow plows, and also would fund projects like a new police station, city hall and renovation of other city buildings.
Architectural and engineering plans for a new police station will be started next year.
The city will not cut health and dental insurance benefits for employees. Premiums for employees and their families will still be paid in full by the city.