Hannibal voters will be in the spotlight Tuesday, Nov. 5, when they go to the polls to decide whether or not to increase the monthly recycling fee.
The Northeast Missouri Sheltered Workshop (NMSW), which admittedly is in trouble financially, is asking voters to increase the recycling fee that households pay by $1.20. A 70-cent recycling fee already appears on BPW residential bills.
In July, the City Council was told the NMSW lost over $26,000 in 2012 and was continuing to operate at a deficit in 2013.
It was reported that without the additional revenue the program, which has operated in Hannibal since 1965, could close its doors. If the recycling program ceased its operation it would mean the loss of approximately 50 jobs, according to NMSW officials.
If the increase is approved it would take effect in January, 2014, and would continue for three years before having to be re-approved by voters.
Tuesday’s issue will not only be the lone issue on the Hannibal ballot, but the only matter up for consideration in Marion County, according to County Clerk Valerie Dornberger.
Dornberger does not anticipate Hannibal voters to flood polling places.
“I think it’s going to be a low turnout,” she said. “Usually our absentee balloting is a good indication and it’s been very low. I just don’t see that there is going to be a big turnout unfortunately.”
Recycling last went before the voters in April 2012. At that time voters agreed to continue the 70 cent monthly fee.
In April, 2009, voters defeated by just 13 votes - 565-552 - a proposal that would have seen a fee of up to $1 added to the monthly residential utility bills to pay for the program.
On Aug. 4, 2009, voters had a change of heard and approved to pay a 70-cent monthly fee to support the recycling program. The proposal passed by a margin off 816-444.