Mayor Swearengin: Council’s Residential Solid Waste Vote Is ‘Important Step Forward’
– Mayor Ashley Swearengin today thanked the Fresno City Council for taking a significant step toward awarding a franchise for residential solid waste services, a move that would lower ratepayers’ waste collection rates by 17 percent and provide the City with an additional $2.5 million annually to provide for core municipal services such as police and fire services and parks.
“These are extremely difficult times, and none of our options are easy at this point. I believe the Council majority made the right decision tonight to continue to move the solid waste franchise proposal forward. The proposal lowers our customers’ bills, provides critical funding for public safety services, and makes available jobs for every affected City worker,” Mayor Swearengin said.
City Council today approved a resolution declaring its intention to award a residential solid waste franchise to Mid Valley Disposal. In addition to lowering customers’ monthly solid waste bills, generating $2.5 million for the City’s general fund from franchise fees and recycling-related revenue, the negotiated agreement between the City and Mid Valley Disposal would guarantee employment for displaced city workers for at least one year following the franchise transition.
Today’s vote is the first of three actions needed to franchise the City’s residential solid waste operations. An introduction and first reading of the ordinance awarding the franchise will take place at City Council’s Dec. 6 meeting. A public hearing then will be held at Council’s Dec. 13 meeting. At the conclusion of the hearing, City Council will vote on whether to grant the franchise to Mid Valley Disposal.
The negotiated franchise agreement between the City and Mid Valley Disposal for residential solid waste services includes:
- A 17.6 percent rate reduction to residential solid waste customers citywide;
- 15 percent franchise fee and 0.5 percent contract management and enforcement fees;
- Scheduled Operation Clean-Up;
- A mixed organics (food scraps in green waste) program starting in 2014;
- Curbside Christmas tree collection rather than cut-up in the cart;
- Curbside assistance for senior and disabled residents;
- Accounting for the upcoming 35-cents-per-ton increase to landfill fees at the County’s American Avenue Landfill so that rates don’t have to be adjusted again next year;
- An agreement to enter into an amendment to the commercial solid waste agreement between the City and Mid Valley Disposal to incorporate pricing reductions to multi-family customers.
- An $8 per ton Recycling Royalty Payment to the City.
More information on the proposal, as well as a detailed question-and-answer document, is available on the City’s website at www.fresno.gov/solidwaste
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