Toledo City Council passed the first hurdle of its budget challenge Tuesday, voting to increase the trash collection fee from $5.50 to $7 a month, except for those who recycle who would see their rate drop from $3 to $2.
The 8-4 vote came after a debate that became so testy that Councilman Betty Shultz motioned to adjourn the meeting, although no other council members took her up on it.
The trash fee would replace the current fee, which raises about $4.8 million a year, but which is set to expire April 30. The current fee is $5.50 a month, or $3 for those who pledge to participate in curbside recycling.
Councilmen Joe McNamara and D. Michael Collins crafted the new proposal aimed at encouraging more Toledoans to recycle.
Next year the fee would increase to $8.50 for those who don t recycle and drop to $1 for those who recycle. In 2010, the fee would rise to $10 for those who don t recycle, and drop to zero for those who participate in recycling.
Voting to approve the fee were Councilmen McNamara and Collins, along with Councilmen Mike Craig, George Sarantou, Shultz, Mark Sobczak, Tom Waniewski, and Wilma Brown.
The four voting no were Councilmen Phil Copeland, Frank Szollosi, Lindsay Webb, and Michael Ashford.
Council continued Tuesday evening to work on the budget. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has proposed a $254.2 million general fund budget, a 2.7 percent increase over the current year.
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