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Avondale raises garbage fees, sets millage

Avondale Estates Decaturish updates

Avondale raises garbage fees, sets millage

Avondale City Commissioners during the commission's June 23 meeting. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Mayor Ed Rieker

Mayor Ed Rieker

The Avondale Estates City Commission met on June 26 and voted to raise the fees for garbage collection by $190 per year.

City Commissioners also adopted a millage rate of 10.9 mills, which is the current tax rate. Taxes could go up for individual homeowners if their tax assessment increased this year.

Both measures passed unanimously and no residents attended the meeting, City Commissioner Randy Beebe told Decaturish after the meeting. Decaturish could not attend Thursday’s meeting due to a prior conflict.

Before the meeting, the city had advertised a placeholder millage rate of 11.2 mills. Mayor Ed Rieker explained in a letter to residents that the city advertised the higher millage rate “to protect the city.”

“Due to the constraints placed on the City by law, DeKalb County municipalities are required to adopt a millage rate by July 1, 2014,” Rieker wrote. “It is possible that our Tax Digest could experience a change (up or down) just shortly before this July 1st reporting deadline.”

He said the city has advertised a placeholder millage rate since 2011.

“If the Tax Digest did drop and the advertised millage rate was lower than the revised digest, the City would have to start the advertising process over, taking a minimum of three weeks, which would most likely cause the City to miss the July 1st deadline,” Rieker said in his letter. “This is why we use a higher placeholder rate until the finalized Tax Digest.”

Rieker said the city’s sanitation program hasn’t collected enough money to cover the cost of picking up garbage.

“As a result in the past this fund was balanced by transferring funds from the General Fund at the end of the fiscal year,” he wrote. “To be in compliance with GAAP for enterprise funds-business type activities, the City will fully fund the Sanitation Fund by adjusting the annual sanitation fee to match the expected expenses for delivering the sanitation services.”

That adjustment will amount to an increase of $16 per household per month, Rieker said.