Residents are invited to attend a public hearing on the proposed rates at the Utility Rate Advisory Commission at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at City Hall Council Chambers.
Why is the City proposing a rate increase?
The proposed rate increase will ensure funds are available to maintain, repair, improve, and streamline the division’s operations and address the following:
- Increase street sweeping services from every six weeks to once a month during the months of February to October.
- Address new recycling processing costs. Recycling no longer generates revenue due to changes in the recycle market.
- Cover the increased costs in labor, operations, maintenance, fuel, disposal fees, and landfill related expenses.
- New costs associated with yard waste and organics processing. By January 1, 2022 residential food waste will need to be diverted from the landfill and processed separately. The City plans to collect food waste in the yard waste containers starting in 2021.
Can the City propose a rate change?
By law a utility must charge what it cost to provide services. Through the City’s financial planning process, the division estimated the cost of operations to increase each year for the next five years.
Why does the rate increase include street sweeping?
A recent survey indicated more than 90 percent of customers are satisfied with the collection services provided by the City, but street sweeping was identified as a service that needs improvement.
For the last two years, Recycling and Solid Waste has been able to increase service to six times a year throughout the city during the service months of February through October. In order to make it a Citywide monthly service – or nine times a year — Recycling and Solid Waste is proposing an increase of $0.16 a month for single family homes. The increase would be spread out over three and a half years, so rates would go up $0.04 each year between January 1, 2020 and July 1, 2022. There has not been a rate adjustment for sweeping since 2009.