City Manager Tom Ambrosino told the City Council he believes it might be time to start a discussion about charging everyone a trash fee in the coming years as costs continue to rise for rubbish collection and recycling.
This came at the same time that he announced water and sewer rates would increase by 7.95 percent this year and the existing trash fee would climb 10 percent over last year.
Currently, trash fees are only charged to properties that are not owner-occupied. However, Ambrosino said it might be time to change all that.
“This new trash fee represents an increase of 10 percent,” he said. “Residential owners will pay an additional $32.88 annually as a result of this increase. I recognize that annual increases of 10 percent are painful, but even with this increase we will not cover the cost of our trash system with our fees. I have mentioned for some time that the City should consider changes to our current rate structure for Solid Waste Disposal. Specifically, I suggest we start the discussion of at least some nominal fee for owner occupied units. Otherwise, 10-plus percent increases will be the norm for the foreseeable future.”
The trash rate will increase to $30.09 monthly for residential property and $141.96 monthly for commercial units in mixed buildings.
Meanwhile, for water and sewer rates – which affect every homeowner – the combined rate increase will be 7.95 percent over last year. The average water user can assume a bill of $1,776 annual for water and sewer charges.
The water rate alone will go up 6 percent, and the sewer rate alone will go up 9 percent. Together, they arrive at the combined rate increase of 7.95 percent for residential users.
For Tier 1 users, the combined rate is $14.80 per hundred cubic feet.
The rates went into effect on July 1, but a Monday’s Council meeting Councillor Bob Bishop was quick to criticize.
“The water and sewer rates in Chelsea are too high,” he said. “I think we should be doing everything we can to hold the line or decrease these rates every year. Other cities and towns aren’t charging the rates we charge…It seems to be a feeding trough at the water and sewer department. I don’t like it.”
By Seth Daniel
The annual Girl Scout Parade will have Diana Ramirez – a Gold Star Mother – riding at the front of the line this year as she honors her son, the late Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez, as the 2016 Parade Marshal.
The Parade, which starts at 8 a.m. at Welsh Funeral Home on Broadway, will be followed by official Memorial Day Exercises at City Hall at 9 a.m.
Ramirez is the mother of Sgt. Nelson Rodriguez, who was killed in combat while serving in Afghanistan in June 2008.
The annual Parade is planned and organized by the girls of the various Chelsea Girl Scout troops. The Girl Scouts in the city have grown from a few dedicated girls just five years ago to become one of the largest activities for girls in the city.
The Girl Scouts want to encourage all local organizations to walk in the parade and for residents to come show their support for veterans and their families. Organizations that are walking should meet in the parking lot of Welsh Funeral Home, 713 Broadway, by 8 a.m. The parade route goes from the funeral home down Broadway to Chelsea City Hall, where the Memorial Day Celebration will take place.
The Chelsea High basketball team raised its record to .500 with a pair of consecutive victories over Commonwealth Athletic Conference rivals Whittier Tech and Northeast Regional this past week. The Red Devils now stand at 4-4 overall and 3-0 in the Large School Division of the CAC.
Last Friday evening’s victory at Whittier saw the Red Devils build a 51-37 lead after three quarters, only to have Whitter battle back and threaten to tie the game in the waning seconds. However, Chelsea held on for the 64-61 win.
Four Red Devils reached double figures, led by Kevin Almeida, Oscar Sabillon, and Victor Corrales with 13 points each, and Eric Flores hitting for 12.
“We played well for most of the game and had a nice lead, but we began to rush things in the fourth quarter,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal. “We should have used the clock to our advantage, but we got careless and allowed Whittier to get back into it.”
Tuesday night’s win over Northeast was a see-saw battle in which the Red Devils also showed a high degree of inconsistency. Chelsea came out flat, trailing 15-7 after one period and 26-22 at the half. However, the Red Devils came out firing on all cylinders after the intermission and moved out to a 39-35 edge after three frames.
The Red Devils maintained a 47-44 lead going into the final 10 seconds, but a missed Chelsea shot and a foul on a N.E. shooter in three-point territory (who made the free throws) sent the game into overtime.
However, the Red Devils regrouped in the OT session to outscore Northeast 15-9 to claim a 62-56 win.
Flores was high man for Chelsea with a fine 23 point performance. Sabillon added 11 and Albie Alicea chipped in 10 with a strong two-way effort. “Albie always gives us 100 percent at both ends of the floor,” said Seigal. “He’s a superb defensive player whose offensive skill are improving with every game.”
Chelsea’s lone loss of the week came last Thursday to arch-rival Revere in a non-league encounter, 65-51. Flores led Chelsea with 18 points and Sabillon hit for 13. Eric Fernandez reached double figures with 11.
Chelsea has a key CAC Large matchup with first place on the line when the Red Devils trek to Greater Lowell Friday. They will play at Lexington Saturday and host Mystic Valley Tuesday.