City of Bethel passes $23.6 million budget

by Mark Arehart on May 16, 2013

The Bethel City Council passed a tentative version of its 2013-2014 budget at the last regular meeting. As it stands now, the budget comes in at just over $23.6 million dollars. And that includes over $190,000 for the Bethel Recycling Center.

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The city council pushed through the budget tentatively at $23,660,161. Officials say that number is likely to vary slightly as things are adjusted, but if that number stays close to true, it would be an increase of about half a million dollars from last year’s budget.

The budget includes something that hasn’t been funded for a few years: money for the Bethel Recycling Center.

“Because the majority of the community would like to have that recycle center working,” said Bethel City Manager Lee Foley.

He said the center will take cardboard, various metals, as well as aluminum cans, but no glass.

At the last regular meeting Council Member Rick Robb said he was against funding the recycling center.

“Recycling has been attempted in Bethel numerous times. And recycling is a great idea, and it sounds really good, and a greener planet and everything. But the history of recycling in this community has been a dismal failure,” Robb said.

In the past the city has struggled to keep the center open—last closing it down a year and a half ago.

Foley said that shouldn’t happen this time, as the center will be fully funded, with one full-time, dedicated employee.

Bethel Mayor Joe Klejka was one of the five council members in favor of funding the center.

“I really am in full support of the recycling center. I really can’t stand it when I take 100 milk jugs and throw them in our landfill,” Klejka said.

The recycling center should open sometime later this summer.

Also in this year’s budget, the Bethel Police Department is funded for two new full-time officer positions.

Foley said the addition would give the BPD 16 officers, the most in recent memory.

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