SPSA approves $44 million budget

Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Employees of the regional trash authority will get only a 2-percent pay increase this year — excluding a state-mandated raise — rather than the 3-percent increase they initially were slated to receive.

The Southeastern Public Service Authority board of directors approved the $44 million budget during its meeting Wednesday. The budget is down 9 percent from the current fiscal year’s spending plan.

Eric Martin, who represents Chesapeake on the board as the city’s director of public works, brought up the salary change during last month’s discussion of the budget.


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“I question whether that’s the appropriate approach to take in this trying time,” he said last month.

The recommended change decreases the 3-percent raise to 2 percent. The raise will cost the authority about $145,810.

In addition, the employees will begin contributing 5 percent of their pay to the Virginia Retirement System while taking an additional 5-percent raise.

The 2-percent increase will help to offset the cost of taxes on the 5-percent raise to the employees.

The change also will cost the authority about $82,000, SPSA Executive Director Rowland Taylor said. The authority will skimp on other expenses to make up the cost.

Other increasing costs in the budget include fuel costs. The authority has planned for a 3-percent increase in trash tonnages, which is its major source of income.

The budget also includes a reduced tipping fee of $125 per ton from $145 per ton, as well as early debt repayment and an equivalent of 4.5 full-time positions lost.

Suffolk’s representatives on the board, businessman James C. Adams II and City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn, voted for the budget proposal.

Also at the meeting, Taylor reported there have been no recent complaints about odor coming from the landfill. It has been nearly two years since residents near the landfill suffered from almost daily attacks of noxious odor from the landfill in Suffolk.