Marlboro Township trustees made the decision Monday night to discontinue trash service in an effort to move the township’s budget from the red back into the black.
Officials said the service cost the township approximately $19,620 annually.
By the end of the meeting, Trustee Hal Clase made the critical motion on the township’s trash service.
“I’d like to make a motion to discontinue the trash pick up as soon as possible,” he said. “We just got to tell them there’s no funds there.”
The vote to discontinue trash pick up was unanimous.
Clase said the board now needed to educate the public that on a certain date there will no longer be trash pick up in the township. Marlboro is also a no-burn township.
Trustees looked at sharing the cost with residents, but decided it would still keep the township in the red.
“What message does it send if we still pick up trash and go into the red?” asked Trustee Rick Clunk.
Trustees said trash service had been free to the residents because it was budgeted into and paid out of the general fund. Due to cuts in state funding, the township no longer receives the amount of funding they once did to maintain the service.
Hoping to bolster the budget and keep the service, trustees placed a 2.5-mil, 3-year levy on the November ballot that failed in a recount on Dec. 2.
The language of the levy stated, “For the purpose of paying the township’s current expenses.”
Ruth Ann Wilson, a long-time resident of the township, told trustees, “We’re willing to pay for it if we know what we’re buying.”
Wilson told trustees the levy failed because it taxed land values. “There are 103 households out here,” she said. “Go after the people not the fields because people make trash, not the fields.”
During the meeting Trustee Ed Reely kept looking at the bottom of the fiscal officer’s spreadsheet noticing all the red ink. “I just keep seeing the red all across the bottom,” he said.
Reely made a motion to freeze the salaries of all employees for one month to ease the budget’s deficit. After the discussion trustees passed the resolution in favor of the freeze.
According to trustees, Clase receives $8,400 annually in pay as a trustee, while Clunk and Reely are paid $9,600 each per year.
Clase told The Gazette earlier in the week that the township could save $3,000 annually by not mowing the township’s cemeteries and mowing themselves or paying for it to be mowed every other week.
Trustees tabled the mowing until a later day saying there still was time to decide on the issue.
Trustees said there’s still a chance the township would place another levy on the November 2017 ballot.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.