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West Valley City Journal

The phased increase will have two parts: a $1 increase for 2023 and another $1 increase for 2024.

Jan 06, 2023 12:03PM ● By Travis Barton

The West Valley City Council approved a sanitation fee increase. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

The West Valley City Council approved a sanitation fee increase in December to bridge the gap between revenues and expenditures in the sanitation fund. 

Public Works Director Dan Johnson explained to the council that the sanitation fund is operating in a deficit, using other funds to cover it. He projected the sanitation fund to be approximately $1.6 million by July 2023 and with the current revenue stream, the fund balance would be depleted by July 2026. 

“Revenue is essentially flat and we don’t anticipate that growing much,” Johnson told the council in October, noting there isn’t much growth left in the city for residents to purchase cans. 

Johnson also mentioned there’s an element of uncertainty in the future with the recycling market at the time and the rising cost for garbage cans, which he said has gone up 35% since 2020. 

Recycling for instance fluctuates, sometimes forcing the city to pay a surcharge while at other times receiving a refund from Ace. 

The fee increase comes in two phases, increasing $1 now to $16.50 and another $1 at the beginning of 2024 to $17.50. That includes recycling. Without recycling would drop those increases to $14 and $15. 

Johnson said the increase will cover the deficit, but noted the contract with Ace will change in the future (the current contract runs until 2024 with two one-year extension options) so costs may be adjusted again. 

Two other options the council discussed were either increasing the recycling fee or disposing of the program altogether. Getting rid of the program would help the fund balance, officials said, but Johnson noted residents have the option to opt out.