The cost of city-operated utilities will remain the same for Superior residents - at least for the time being.  At their most-recent meeting, the Superior Finance Committee gave the nod to budgets for 2022, with no increases for the utility services that the municipality oversees:  landfill, recycling, stormwater, and wastewater.

However, that reprieve from higher costs could be temporary.

Operating costs continue to rise at the city landfill.  An increase would help offset that situation.  That's why the Superior Finance Committee has agreed to revisit gate fees for the landfill that's located on Moccasin Mike Road again in January.  Most anticipate some form of change happening when that occurs.

Garbage pile in trash dump or landfill. Pollution concept.

Todd Janigo - Public Works Director for the City of Superior explains:

"We're currently at $54 per ton and that was last changed in 2017.  There's been a few different ways that has gone.  There was a Leidos report that was done in 2014, and they set some recommendations for the gate rate."

At the time, the report recommended rate increases; the rate that was current in 2014 was $51 per ton and "the report recommended the city implement an annual increase of 2% per year to account for inflation". That increase occurred the first year after the report and study but then stopped happening.

Right now the landfill operation is competitive with others in the area, but there is also a need to strengthen the budget. "Based on volume...for every dollar the city raises the gate fee, it generates about $10,000 for the city".

Most of the cost increases would be absorbed by "businesses in the city that pay for dumpster services and haulers who bring county refuse to the city landfill".  However - it's worth noting that the largest of those haulers - the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District - wouldn't see a change in what they pay no matter what happens with a proposed rate increase.  The fee paid by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District is dictated by the annual contracts it establishes.

Pile of domestic garbage in landfill

The next steps?  The proposed landfill, recycling, and stormwater budget and rates will be reviewed by the Superior City Council at their meeting on December 7.  Meanwhile, the planned review of rate increases for the gate at the municipal landfill wouldn't occur until the next regularly scheduled meeting for the Superior Finance Committee; that meeting is planned for January 13, 2022.

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