After months of trash talk, the Cheyenne City Council has voted to increase solid waste fees by 8 percent.

"The current rates are not adequate to fund the new landfill expansion plus closure and monitoring of that expansion," Public Works Director Vicki Nemecek told the council Monday night.

The increase failed to pass second reading on May 8, but was reintroduced on June 12.

"I'm deeply troubled that we are rehashing this out after voting it down and the impotence for bringing it up again was the fact that it shorted what our project revenues are for the general fund," said Council President Dicky Shanor, who voted against the increase.

"We've made so much progress in sanitation over the last four to five years," Shanor added. "I really see this as a step backwards that we're, once again, going to the sanitation well to fill general fund needs."

Councilman Dr. Mark Rinne said while he didn't like the 8 percent increase, he didn't see an alternative.

"We've put ourselves in this position," said Councilman Dr. Mark Rinne. "If we'd kept pace with a modest increase we wouldn't have put ourselves in a position where we needed to do eight percent now."

"Although it is definitely difficult, particularly for people on fixed incomes, it is important we proceed with this matter," said Councilman Pete Laybourn.

"We've chased after some very unrealistic approaches and those approaches have put us behind the eight ball," Laybourn added. "We have to get out from behind that and assure our own destiny here and our destiny is a landfill that we own and control."

Council members Bryan Cook, Mike Luna and Jeff White also voted against the fee increase, which takes effect August 1.

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