City May Eliminate Jobs to Pay for Garbage Trucks

January 28, 2015

Photo via Flickr/order_242.
Photo via Flickr/order_242.

Mason City, Iowa, is considering eliminating two sanitation positions so it can replace its aging sanitation fleet, as one of four options presented by the mayor and City Council.

The city has five garbage packer trucks and three recycling trucks. The fleet is aging, and vehicle costs are rising. Because of this, the city’s goal is to replace as many vehicles as possible in the next five years, according to a release.

Eliminating two positions would allow the city to increase sanitation service rate by 10 cents per month for the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. As a trade-off, routes would take longer to complete. Savings from employee reduction would allow the division to replace a truck each of the next five years.

To keep current service levels and retain the two positions, sanitation service would need to increase its rate by 95 cents per month in FY-2016 and 45 cents per month for FY-17.

A third option would involve raising rates by 15 cents per month for two years and charging for yard waste pick-up by the bag. The city could keep the employees under this scenario.

The fourth option increases rates by 10 cents per year for two years, eliminates two sanitation employees, and creates two swing worker positions who split their time between sanitation and another department. This would allow the division to replace a truck in four of the next five years.  

Residents now pay $10.05 per month for sanitation services. Each truck is estimated to cost $130,000, according to the Globe Gazette.


  1. 1. Stephen DeCarlo, Fleet Ma [ January 28, 2015 @ 10:26AM ]

    How about a fifth option. Buy the fleet by flating a capitol expenditure through a bond sale. Once owned create an internal service fund by charging user departments fixed and variable cost including a straight line depreciation replacement cost componet to support the fleet operation. Bank the replacement cost component for the years of SL depreciation then future years will yield sufficint cash to purchase new equipment.

    In the interium lease until sufficient cash is banked in the service fund to purchase new trucks. It would be premature to do so yet it would prevent laying off staff needed to provide services.


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