City Council Approves Fee Increase
September 3rd, 2017 by Pam Davis
In the September 18 meeting of the Kennesaw City Council, members passed the proposed 2017-2018 budget which included a monthly fee increase needed to cover higher sanitation costs which are being passed on from the sanitation vendor Republic Services and to support a new quality of life initiative.
For the past two years, Republic Services has experienced cost increases related to dumping fees, landfill costs, fuel, and overall operating costs. The city absorbed the increase passed on last year but this year, the Council approved raising fees to customers. The $3 per month increase will begin in October with the first billing at the higher rate occurring in November because the city bills one month in arrears. Residents will be notified of the increase in their October billing statements. Related information will also be placed on the city website.
Additionally, a $3 street light fee will be assessed per household beginning in January 2018. This fee will be used specifically to support a Quality of Life Initiative aimed at hiring additional code enforcement officers and purchasing needed equipment to address code violations including vacant structures, overgrown grass, illegally parked vehicles, and housing violations related to the number of non-related people living in a single structure. The fee will be included on sanitation bills.
Kennesaw’s costs to maintain street lights are approximately $310,000 per year. The city is following the lead of other Georgia municipalities that charge a street light fee. “These fees will support our efforts to increase property values, reduce potential crime opportunities, improve the aesthetics in our neighborhoods, and improve the overall quality of life for our residents and business owners,” said Mayor Derek Easterling. Improving Code Enforcement and Quality of Life was cited as a priority in the city’s June 2016 Citizen Satisfaction Survey.