Refuse Authority budget shows small increase for new fiscal year

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 4, 2024

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HARPER WOODS — The Grosse Pointes-Clinton Refuse Disposal Authority budget for the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year is a little higher than it was for 2023 to 2024, but otherwise remains largely a copy of its predecessor.

During a meeting May 14 in Harper Woods, the GPCRDA Board voted unanimously in favor of a budget for the new fiscal year, which starts July 1. The budget — $1,059,650 — is higher than last year’s budget of $948,300.

“There was a slight increase in the budget,” said certified public accountant Lynn Gromaski, who handles the finances for the GPCRDA, after the meeting. “It looks like (trash) tonnage has gone up slightly.”

The $3 per ton administrative fee paid by each member community — the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods — will remain the same. On July 1, 2017, a higher administrative fee — which rose from $1 per ton of trash to $3 per ton, for a $2 per ton increase — went into effect for the member communities, because the old fee was no longer covering expenses such as insurance and contributions to the pension system.

“I think the $3 administrative fee is covering our costs very well,” Gromaski said.

The budget includes $27,100 for the pension system, which covers employees who used to work at the GPCRDA’s former incinerator in Clinton Township. Gromaski said they won’t know until July whether they need to make a contribution to the pension system.

Expenses related to the incinerator property — which the GPCRDA has tried for years to sell — were budgeted at $16,000 for the new fiscal year, after the $6,000 budgeted for the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year weren’t enough to pay for things like occasional lawn mowing and fencing.

Trespassing remains an ongoing problem for the GPCRDA’s long-vacant, wooded incinerator parcel, with people damaging or cutting holes in the fence to gain access to the property. Board Chair Peter Randazzo said the entire community living near the parcel knows about the property.

“It’s going to be a battle that I don’t know we’re ever going to win,” Randazzo said of keeping people off the property.

The 64-acre property has been vacant since the incinerator ceased operations in 1999. The incinerator was demolished in 2001.

GPCRDA Board member Jim Kowalski said “we probably will” need to repair or replace fencing around the property in the coming fiscal year.

GPCDRA officials are pleased with the budget.

“I couldn’t ask for a better person to handle our budget for the authority,” Randazzo said of Gromaski. “Everything went smoothly.”