But by ramping down the financial assistance over time, customers will have a chance to "adjust their finances" before the subsidy is axed completely, said Public Works Director Bonnie Teaford.
The move will soften the blow for the 1,900 households that currently get a 50% discount on their sewer and trash-hauling bills. There are about 44,000 households in the city.
Currently, the decades-old program saves eligible residents roughly $10 a month on sewer services, and between $15 and $25 a month, depending on trash-can size, on trash-hauling services.
To qualify for the city's subsidy next year and beyond, single-family households must use the smallest trash container — which holds 32 gallons — as opposed to the 64- or 94-gallon containers.
Without the city's intervention, affected customers would see their trash and sewer rates double.
With the three-year ramp-down, city officials said they will have time to promote Project Share, a Burbank Water and Power program that through community donations helps cash-strapped customers pay their bills.
Last year, the program raised $50,000, not nearly enough to support the sewer and refuse assistance programs.
Officials said they may reevaluate the assistance program in the future.
"In future budgets we may be able to make further adjustments," said Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy. "Or we can take this back to voters in two years and have a much stronger, more visible campaign."
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