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VILLA PARK : Trash Fee Billing Change Under Study

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The City Council is studying the possibility of putting trash collection fees on property tax bills, but City Manager Fred Maley has warned that the change could cause many problems.

The change in billing could assure homeowners of no increase in trash fees for the next two years, according to Mayor Barry L. Denes. He said the city’s trash hauler, Taormina Industries Inc., has agreed to freeze fees until July 1, 1996, if the city agrees to a 10-year extension of its current five-year contract and if the city also agrees to bill homeowners on their property tax bills.

Maley, however, cautioned the council against any immediate action on the proposal.

“I’m not sure that in the overall interests of public perception it’s a good idea,” Maley said.

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Maley said he believes the council needs more information before changing the city’s current form of trash billing. Taormina Industries now bills homeowners directly, Maley said. He said that the public is likely to be confused if the city starts billing for trash fees as part of property tax bills.

“Tax roll billing is not an assessment, not a tax,” Maley noted.

Denes presented the proposed change in trash billing to the council Tuesday night during a special budget study session. Denes said a council committee has been meeting with Taormina representatives. An overall goal, he said, has been to keep trash fees from rising. He said the proposed agreement would accomplish that.

But some on the council were skeptical of the proposal.

“It scares me to think we’d be tying ourselves up for 15 years” in a trash-hauling contract, said Councilman Bob Bell. Councilman Joseph S. Barsa said he also has concerns about a 15-year contract.

Councilman Bob Patchin noted that both Maley and City Atty. Leonard Hampel had raised questions about the proposed billing changeover.

Denes told the council that no immediate decision on the proposal is needed and that the idea will be studied further.

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