Three Noblesville Common Councilors explain vote to approve trash fee

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When we first decided to seek the office of Noblesville Common Council, our objective was to have a voice, an opportunity, to help mold the future of the city we love. Very early in the campaign, it was obvious that many residents were concerned that Noblesville ran the risk of falling behind our neighboring communities. Many proposed projects, such as new trails, additional public safety, downtown infrastructure and more were yet to be funded, thus not moving forward. Residents encouraged us on a daily basis to lead with a bold vision, one that would move our city in a direction of continued growth and prosperity. The status quo in Noblesville was no longer good enough.

No one likes to pay more taxes or fees, and as Republican leaders it goes against our very nature to impose more fees on residents.  This week, the Noblesville Common Council voted to approve a user fee associated with trash pick-up. As newly elected members of this body, we wanted to take a moment and explain our reasons for voting for this ordinance.

With the passing of property tax caps in 2009, the game changed in terms of municipal funding. While residents in our respective districts desire increased amenities, the ability to pay for such services has been capped. Now, we must look long and hard at what services we are providing our taxpayers. While services such as trash pick-up have long been paid for out of the general fund, we are now faced with unfunded infrastructure projects and an ever-tightening budget. The trash fee will create a revenue stream and opportunity for the city to act on ideas and give the council the confidence to vote for growth.

We asked many questions while considering this vote. We discussed this proposal with our constituents, and we appreciate the residents who attended and spoke at the public forum on Tuesday night. We listened carefully to the 13 residents who spoke – both in favor and against the fee – and we want to thank everyone who reached out to us either in person, by phone, letter or email. Our job is to vote for what we feel is right for the majority of the people, for what we feel is best for Noblesville. Quite frankly, the responsibility now falls on the mayor and his staff to be creative, be aggressive and push for progress. You can rest assured, after this vote, we will push from our side of the process.

It was important to us that the city created provisions in the fee to help those in need; the reduced rate plans are good, and we are all willing to help those who need assistance in filing the paperwork to receive the benefits outlined in the ordinance. To learn more about the property tax discount, or for more information on the trash fee, visit www.cityofnoblesville.org.

We were well aware that it was our duty to do our due diligence regarding this fee and its impact on our community. It is important to us that we have a plan on how to utilize the increased bottom line, and we are all committed to moving Noblesville forward. We each have a true love for this city. Noblesville is our home. We will never shy away from the opportunity to wisely invest in the long-term health and prosperity of a place we love. This is an investment we are confident will propel Noblesville forward.

Chris Jensen

District 2

cjensen@noblesville.in.us

 

Wil Hampton

District 4

whampton@noblesville.in.us

 

Megan Wiles

District 6

mwiles@noblesville.in.us

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