CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — In Chesapeake, a last-ditch effort to save curbside recycling was made Tuesday night as City Council approved its fiscal year 2023 budget.
But a motion made by Vice Mayor John de Triquet failed by a 4-5 vote.
De Triquet said his budget proposal would have retained curbside recycling by implementing a $15-a-month solid waste fee while lowing the real estate tax rate by 4.5 cents.
Mayor Rick West and council members Debbie Ritter and Ella Ward supported his motion. However, Councilman Don Carey along with council members Stephen Best, Susan Vitale, Dwight Parker and Robert Ike voted down the alternative budget. Carey said he couldn’t support it as City Council had already twice voted not to add a solid waste fee.
City Council ultimately approved a budget that’ll do away with the service beginning in July. The elimination of recycling will save about $2 million and help fund pay raises for public safety employees.
The real estate tax rate remains the same at $1.05 per $100 of assessed property value. However, the city will provide all property owners with a 4 cent per $100 of assessed value credit in an attempt to provide relief to increased assessments.
In order to provide the rebate, City Manager Chris Price said reductions would have to be made, including $3.2 million less to schools and $1.7 million decrease to road paving.
Previous initiatives that City Council partially addressed mid-year will be fully funded under the 2023 budget, including the public safety classification and compensation plan and waste management pay plans.
The general workforce pay plan would raise the minimum city salary to $15 an hour or $31,200 a year. That would impact various positions such as bridge operators, housekeepers, maintenance workers, school crossing guards, recreation leaders, and more.
City Council approved $247.4 million for the upcoming school year budget, an increase over the previous year. The increase in school funding helps support the addition of certain positions such as guidance coordinators, counselors, technology positions, psychologists and more. It also provides teachers a 10% raise.