Trash rates going up again

DOWNEY - One year after across-the-board rate hikes, Downey property owners will again see an increase in their monthly trash bill.After gaining approval from the City Council Tuesday night, trash bills for single-family households will jump from $15.73 per month to $17.27, while multi-family properties with 2-4 units will pay $16.52 monthly, up from $15.05. Large residential complexes and commercial buildings with a 3-cubic-yard bin serviced once a week will pay $123.38 per month, a monthly increase of about $10. Rates for optional recycling bins are also going up, from $71.90 to $78.50 per month for a residential complex of five units or more. CalMet, the company contracted to pick-up and dispose of Downey's trash and recyclables, last raised its rates April 1, 2012. At the time, the City Council signed off on the rate increase but instituted a new "rate adjustment formula" to determine future changes in rates, which are determined every spring. The city also commissioned a study based on CalMet's 2011 earnings to determine if they earned a profit of more or less than 10 percent, and if another rate increase was warranted. Due mostly to increases in fuel costs, a consultant hired by the city found that Downey should approve CalMet's requested rate increase of 2.56% for residential service and 1.97 percent for apartments and commercial buildings. It also urged "that the rates further be increased to reflect the calculated One-Time Rate Rebalancing Adjustment of 7.21 percent." "This type of one-time adjustment is common in many long-term contracts for services and usually takes place at the 'half term point' of the contract to ensure that the contractor is not overcharging," assistant city manager John Oskoui wrote in a report to council members. "The rebalancing adjustment is a one-time increase and CalMet will only be eligible for standard annual rate increases for the remainder of the contract." The new rates go into effect April 1. The fee increase was unanimously approved by the City Council on Tuesday without comment.

********** Published: March 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 50