CHARLOTTE - Charlotte city officials faced some tough questions from upset renters and condo owners Friday while the city floats the idea of cutting their trash pick-up to save money.
Officials from the city's Solid Waste Services, budget office and city manager's office listened during a citizens' forum as dozens of renters and condo and townhome owners vented about their frustrations with an idea to eliminate the city's trash pick-up service at apartment, condo and townhome buildings with more than four units.
"The fact that my building has more than four units should not have any bearing on whether or not my taxes pay for my services or not. This, I find discriminating," said Marianne McQuade.
It's an idea that's been four years in the making but is now getting some traction.
City staff said it could save the city up to $3.6 million when funds are limited and expensive needs, like more police officers, are on the horizon, but city leaders maintain it isn't about moving money around but about whether this is a service the city should still provide.
"We're always looking at ways to be more efficient. How we can deliver services to the advantage of taxpayers?" said Councilman Greg Phipps.
Several crowd members explained how the proposal would be unfair, forcing them to pay double. They'd be paying the same taxes single family homeowners do but without getting the services they receive on top of having to pay fees for a contractor to pick up their trash.
"If you are going to cut my services, cut my taxes. That's just fair," said townhome owner Michael Atkins.
The Charlotte City Council will go over the idea next month, but before they do, another citizen's forum is planned for 10 a.m. on March 11 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in room 267.
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