Trash, water rates on the rise in Grove City

Nov. 8—GROVE CITY — Trash collection rates in Grove City are expected to double in 2023, when residents will also likely see higher water bills.

Property taxes in the proposed 2023 borough budget hold steady at 4.5 mills, but operating expenses for utilities are on the rise, said Vance Oakes, borough manager.

The tentative spending plan for 2023 is $18,331,568, just over $1 million more compared to the 2022 budget.

Tri-County Industries Inc. will continue to serve as the borough’s trash collector. It was the only waste hauler to submit a bid.

Monthly garbage bills for residents and small businesses currently average about $16. The exact dollar amount is based on how many tons of waste Grove City sends to the landfill.

The new monthly bills will total $32.75. That includes a new quarterly program for electronic waste recycling and household hazardous waste that will likely start in the spring, said Oakes, who has served as borough manager since 2006.

Residents will learn more about trash collection services and the rate increase in a newsletter being sent out this week with utility bills.

Borough officials were prepared to consider other waste haulers, especially since several companies picked up bid packets.

Waste Management leaders told Oakes that they didn’t bid on the contract because they don’t have enough employees and equipment to serve Grove City, which has about 2,500 trash customers affected by the new contract.

Council members decided to keep unlimited trash pickup in the contract; changing that to “limited” would have saved about $3 a month, but borough officials don’t want to offer less services.

Monthly instead of biweekly recycling pickup could have saved $1 a month. People seem to be happy with the services with Tri-County provides, Oakes said.

The proposed water rate increased of $7.10 a month will help pay for the new water treatment plant that the borough will build at Grove City Memorial Park. The borough owns and runs the water system.

Residential water customers in Grove City currently pay a monthly base rate of $27.20.

Water and sewer rates went up in Grove City for 2021 and 2022. Property taxes went up by a half-mill for 2020.

The preliminary budget is available for public viewing at the borough building. Council members will be voting on the final version at its Nov. 21 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.

Other budget and borough highlights:

— A 2.5 percent pay increase for police department employees as part of their contract, plus dash cameras and body-worn cameras for patrolmen.

“We’ve never had those before,” Oakes said of the cameras.

— Council members continue to discuss the best way for them to help with the local emergency medical services crisis.

Ideas have included a half-mill property tax hike, and borough representatives will be talking to other town leaders for input.

— Spending is up by nearly $200,000 for the Grove City Airport in Springfield Township, which is owned by the borough. Three grants have been secured for various projects including an update of the airport master plan.

The state will cover the entire cost of the $250,000 grant to update the plan, which is needed in order for airport management to move forward with plans for a runway extension.

Sealing cracks on the runway and adding more equipment storage are also planned for the airport, which is run by Grove City Aviation.

— The borough also owns Grove City Memorial Park, where the dock area at the pond will be rebuilt for about $10,000.

— The storm sewer budget includes $35,000 of funding for a new storm drain on Woodland Avenue.

— The borough will be using American Rescue Plan funds for work on the Black Run sewer lift station and some new sewer lines.

— New businesses coming to the borough in the near future include ModWash car wash at the former Perkins restaurant property; the Grove City Brew Haus at the former Voodoo Brewery; and Bookends Bookstore and Homeschool Resource Center at the former Nonni’s Corner Trattoria downtown.

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