By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Rumson officials have canned the idea of outsourcing trash collection in 2011.
That doesn’t necessarily mean jobs are safe in future years, though.
Faced with a state-mandated 2-percent property tax cap, Mayor John Ekdahl said borough leadership will have to constantly examine the budget for savings as costs rise and the cap, he predicts, stays firm for years to come.
“We’re not doing this exercise just for 2011. We’ve got to find other apples on the tree for 2012,” Ekdahl said.
The public works crew that collects trash will certainly be in that bushel.
“It’s not off the table,” Ekdahl said. “It’ll probably be on the table for next year.”
Meantime, the council and DPW worked out a plan to keep the six-man collection crew on through 2011, through a modified pay scale for new employees that will keep Rumson competitive with private companies, he said. Current employees will not take pay cuts, Ekdahl said, but if anyone retires or quits, a replacement or new hire will be given a lower wage using a new tiered system.
The council flirted with the idea of private pick-up, to the point that it had conversations with a couple of different companies, in order to reduce health and pension costs. It was looking at a savings of anywhere between $200,000 and $350,000 a year, officials said.
In order to cover the nut next year to keep the current DPW workers, Ekdahl said the council is seriously considering upping the fees for pickup at the many homes with long driveways, adding a bulk pick-up charge and cutting back to collecting once a week all ideas, by the way, that residents have floated to keep collection borough-run.