Recently, I have received several inquiries about recycling and the situation regarding the drought and its effect on available water in our city. I’ll attempt to give some insight on these questions, along with a response to a comment made about property taxes.
Several years ago, the city council made the decision to suspend recycling for several reasons. The cost of recycling increased dramatically because of a company’s inability to sell recycled product to foreign countries at a profit. It was also determined that a significant number of items deposited in the blue recycle cans were not recyclable and ended up at the landfill. Additionally, there were concerns about the environment as reports surfaced that plastic was being dumped in the ocean because of the lack of demand. You may have noticed I used the word suspend. We continue to look at the costs at least yearly to determine its viability and when recycling will return to our community. We have recycling dumpsters available on Pleasant View Drive at around 350 East.
Many of you probably understand that your culinary water is monitored and provided by the city, whereas most residences’ secondary water is controlled by Pineview Water System. North Ogden cannot issue fines and make the rules for secondary water; however, we can do so with our culinary (drinking) water. Last summer, I announced an emergency water declaration that is still in place. This declaration limits the use of culinary water for purposes identified in the ordinance. Due to the extended drought, it is highly probable we will have to strengthen the declaration this year. Last year, we sought voluntary compliance, whereas this year, that will most likely have to change. Some residents have suggested we prohibit further development. We cannot do this without supporting evidence that we lack adequate culinary water. Our current data indicates we have sufficient water to support almost twice our current population. We will continue to closely monitor our water resources.
Recently, a resident stated that North Ogden has BIG taxes, and we should be able to provide recycling at no additional cost. I respect that opinion, but I differ in my opinion. No one likes taxes, including me; however, the average resident pays $275 in North Ogden City taxes. The remainder of your property taxes go to other entities. I would challenge you to consider the protection, amenities, and services you get for your North Ogden taxes. By the way, recycling is part of the garbage fund, which charges for services provided and is not supported by property taxes.
Some of you have probably seen the statement, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind!” Recently, I had the opportunity to visit some students at North Ogden Elementary, who provided goody bags to the police department for children who have been traumatized. As I spoke with them, I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some said doctors; others wanted to be professional athletes. I commended them for their goals and then said, “You can always be kind.” I offer that same advice to you! Have a fantastic springtime!!
Mayor Neal Berube