After talking trash for nearly 45 minutes Monday night, the Cheyenne City Council voted 6 to 4 to advance an ordinance calling for a 5 percent solid waste fee increase.

"We feel we can reduce the recommended 8 percent rate increase to 5 percent in anticipation of the vertical expansion included in our lifetime permit," said Public Works Director Vicki Nemecek.

"This 5 percent increase is needed to ensure rates stay on track to cover costs of operations, replacement of equipment, new landfill cells and landfill closure," she added.

But some councilmen, including Scott Roybal, feared that not having the "intestinal fortitude" to stick with an 8 percent increase may mean an 8 to 10 percent increase five years from now.

"The reason I decreased this to 5 percent was because I felt it was the right thing to do for our customers," said Nemecek. "I do feel that we are going to be collecting adequately if we do 5 percent this year."

Councilman Dicky Shanor attempted to amend the ordinance to read "all revenues raised as a result of this 5 percent fee increase shall be dedicated to the landfill and equipment expenditures identified in the HDR 2014 study before being used for payroll or other expenses," but the amendment failed on a tie vote.

"I speak in opposition on this amendment," said Councilman Pete Laybourn. "We've taken a number of real important steps in regard to our sanitation and I think that this (ordinance) is a logical step to continue that and we don't need to be further tweaking it."

Shanor as well as Councilmen Rocky Case, Richard Johnson and Mike Luna voted against the ordinance.

The item will go before the Finance Committee on May 21 and be on third reading when the council meets May 29.

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