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Residents have until Tuesday's public hearing to protest garbage fee hike
garbage
The Turlock City Council will take up a proposed rate increase for garbage at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. - photo by Journal file photo

The City of Turlock has received 409 letters as of Thursday protesting a proposed solid waste rate increase, far fewer than the 9,119 formal protests needed to prevent the City Council from moving forward with the fee hike. However, residents have until the end of the scheduled public hearing of the solid waste fee increase, set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, to file a complaint.

Turlock Scavenger, the City's contracted hauler, has requested the solid waste fee structure be adjusted to address their increased costs including rate increases at the Stanislaus County landfill. As proposed, the average residential solid waste fee would increase by 9.16 to 9.45 percent.

In their proposal, Turlock Scavenger recommends the residential rate for the 32 gallon grey cart with a 68 gallon blue recycle cart and a 95 gallon green waste cart would undergo a one-time increase of $2.30, or 9.16 percent, to increase the existing rate of $25.10 to $27.40.

 The residential rate for the 64 gallon grey cart with a 68 gallon blue recycle cart and a 95 gallon green waste cart would undergo a one-time increase of $3.10, or 9.37 percent for the next five years. As a result, the existing rate of $33.10 would be increased to $36.20.

 The residential rate for the 96 gallon grey cart with a 68 gallon blue recycle cart and a 95 gallon green waste cart would undergo a one-time increase of $3.60, or 9.45 percent, to increase the existing rate of $38.10 to $41.70.

The increase, as proposed, would be instituted at one time as opposed to a series of smaller annual increases.

The City Council authorized staff in April to proceed with the property owner notification requirements of Proposition 218 for the consideration of increasing solid waste user fees and established a hearing date for the July 28 Council meeting. However, the Council postponed the hearing to further research Turlock Scavenger’s financial records as allowed for in the existing franchise agreement. Staff has since completed the review of methodologies used by Turlock Scavenger to determine the proposed rate increase and did not note any concerns.

Through Proposition 218, a majority protest is needed in order for the City Council to not consider the fee increase.

In order to protest the rate increase, a protest ballot must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office. Electronically submitted protest ballots will not be accepted (i.e. fax or email). 

Ballots are available at the City Hall and can be found at: 
http://ci.turlock.ca.us/pdf/documents/municipalservices/solidwaste.pdf

Also on Tuesday, the City Council is expected to:

·         Approve the purchase of reserved wastewater capacity for Hilmar Cheese Company for the dry milk processing facility located at 3600 W. Canal Dr.

·         Adopt the Recycled Water Program establishing the rules, regulations, standard specifications and drawings governing the use of recycled water produced and distributed by the City of Turlock.

·         Approve the City of Turlock's participation in a countywide investigation protocol for Commercially Sexually Exploited Children.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway, Turlock.