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Posted on Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Newly built homes in Chelsea to be charged $1,060 upfront in recycling fees beginning in 2012

By Lisa Allmendinger

As the Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority (WWRA) moves toward single-stream recycling, owners of newly built homes in Chelsea will be charged $1,060 upfront for the recycling authority’s five-year operating assessment and the 15-year bond debt assessment.

The $1,060 assessment will be due when the zoning permit fees are paid, said Frank Hammer, chairman of WWRA, and any reductions in those fees will be refunded to homeowners at the end of five years.


File photo of Chelsea City Councilman and Western Washtenaw Recycling Authority Chairman Frank Hammer

Lisa Allmendinger |

Current Chelsea homeowners pay $100 each year for the debt and operating costs combined.

Owners of newly built homes will pay $840 upfront for recycling debt costs but they won’t be assessed again until 2027, when new fees are calculated. In addition, they will pay $220 upfront for recycling operating costs, and amount expected to decrease during the next five years, Hammer said.

Hammer said the purpose of the charges are to “obtain money from new residents for WWRA as a prepayment for the five-year and 15-year assessment.”

However, for a home built in 2013, the assessed fees will be $960 upfront when zoning permits are paid. In fact, new homes built in subsequent years through 2016 will see decreased upfront assessments. For example, a home built in 2014 will be assessed $728 for recycling debt costs and $132 for operations or a total of $660.

This month, the Chelsea City Council unanimously approved two resolutions to allow WWRA to assess the newly built properties.

Hammer expects the operating millage amount to be reduced during the five-year assessment period and “we’ll refund any money due at the end of the five years.”

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.



Wed, Feb 1, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

What a bunch of fools. Chelsea officials sure are showing there smarts. If I lived in chelsea I would be ashamed.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

This is what happens when the collectivists gain unchecked control of our government. Unelected bureaucrats that never met a payroll, or created real jobs that actually added to the GDP are destroying the economy at every level. The lies that the radicals from the 60's and 70's believe will always require more of your money to cover up the facts. Recycling has never been and never will be profitable, only a small amount is reusable and the majority goes straight to the evil landfill. Elections have consequences because it's not just the collectivist you elect, but the collectivists that they appoint.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Are you saying that democracies are a failure?


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Can you cite some evidence for your opinion?


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

Housing won't be affected, this will be absorbed.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

I guess new homes to drop there and private industry is cleaning up on recycling.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.



Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

Recycling actually makes sense. It takes a large portion of garbage out of landfills, and creates a stream of raw materials for businesses. It can actually be an economic plus. That said, with prices at all time highs for metal, plastic, paper and cardboard, why are the fees so high? Doesn't the agency sell the materials? What happened to that revenue?


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

Add recycling to the growing list of failed government programs.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 8:57 a.m.

Thanks for the math lesson. I did not realize $728 plus $132 equaled $660. Silly me... Guess my math education was poor... Or, on a less sarcastic note, please explain how '$728 for recycling debt costs and $132 for operations' equals a total of '$660'?


Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 10:10 p.m.

What an absolutely brilliant way to discourage anyone from building a new house. This is a classic political maneuver, vote in a tax on someone that can't be there to defend themselves. I guess Chelsea must be consulting with the "ELITES" in Ann Arbor.


Sun, Jan 29, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

What does that "ELITES" remark mean about this situation?