Come December, when homeowners receive their tax bills, they may see an unfamiliar charge on them.

   Recycling collection.

   If the Common Council approves a concept introduced Tuesday night, owners of residential properties would see an extra charge in the range of $42 to $45 covering that property’s share of the city’s recycling costs.

   Why consider adding this fee at this time? The reasons are twofold.

   The city recently became aware of the state’s position that, while cities such as Ripon cannot place additional fees over and above the levy limit for “covered services” such as fire protection and garbage collection, it does not specifically list recycling collection as a “covered service.”

   As such, a city now may choose to charge for recycling services without impacting its levy limit.

   “This opinion now having been made public, there will be many communities moving forward [with such charges],” City Attorney Lud Wurtz said.

   In the city of Ripon, that amounts to $107,471 for 2019 that’s currently being funded by the city’s existing levy collected via property taxes. In 2020, that rises to $109,620, according to figures provided by Ald. Doug Iverson, who introduced the idea Tuesday of charging extra for recycling.

Read the full story in the June 13, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.