EL CENTRO – While residents of El Centro won’t notice a huge increase in their combined monthly water, sewer and garbage bill, the garbage portion will increase by an average of 20 cents per month from the 1st. July, start of the new fiscal year.
The change, which is an annual increase of 1% and about $ 2.40 for the year, will be reflected in the first bill of the new fiscal year, arriving in early August, according to city officials.
“In fact, I’m glad it’s as low as it is. As expensive as everything got, I thought it would increase further, ”said Maria Diaz, a resident of El Centro, after hearing about the rate hike. “No one ever wants these things to increase, but it could have been worse.”
The increase was approved by El Centro City Council by a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, June 15, after a public hearing and a presentation by City Engineer / Public Works Director Abraham Campos and Dean Ruffridge, vice -President of the city’s contracted waste company. , CR&R.
The mayor of El Centro, Pro Tem Tomas Olivia, voted against the increase, expressing concerns about a future tariff increase due to changes to laws on green waste disposal. Tomas could not be reached for further comment.
The increase relates to the collection, transport and recycling, treatment and disposal of solid waste and was reviewed before the decision was made by Hilton Farnkopf & Hobson, a consultancy company the city has hired to review increase requests and seek solid waste and recycling. entrepreneurs.
CR&R initially requested a 1.2% increase, but the city asked HF&H to review the request. The 1 percent that was approved was approved by all parties and was linked to changes in the US Consumer Price Index, which weights income against the costs of goods and services.
This was the 10th annual rate adjustment request from CR&R since 2007, which follows all contracted procedures for rate increases, according to a report provided by city staff.
El Centro first entered into a contract for integrated solid waste management services with CR&R on March 20, 2007. These services include, but are not limited to, automated residential curbside collection, multi-family waste collection and transportation and commercial and recyclable bins. the treatment and collection of waste and recyclables, according to the city report. CR&R began its service on July 1 of the same year.
On July 5, 2011, city council approved its third and final amendment with CR&R, which incorporated a 4% cap on future annual rate adjustment requests. In the same action, street sweeping services were added to CR&R’s contract as well as a contract extension until July 1, 2027. The maximum rates that CR&R can charge its customers include the following cost component categories : labor, fuel, equipment, insurance, disposal and “all others,” the report says.
According to article 6.3 of the contract, “the adjustment of the maximum tariffs is subject to the approval of the city council in a public hearing, although the discretion of the city council is limited to determine, on the basis of substantial evidence , if the maximum rate adjustment requested meets the requirements set out herein. CR&R submitted a written annual rate adjustment request on March 30 for a further increase.