Tonight: Garbage rate hike on Menlo agenda

Council will also consider downtown plan, Flood Park

It's that time of year again. No, not the holidays. The return of the annual garbage rate hike. The Menlo Park City Council sits down on Tuesday, Dec. 13, to decide whether to approve a rate hike of up to 10 percent for 2012.

The staff report recommends an 8 percent hike effect Jan. 1. An 8 percent hike would raise the monthly service fee for a 20-gallon black trash cart at a single-family residence to $13.99, up $1.04, for example.

On the plus side, staff found the city owes former vendor Allied Waste $737,000 -- $158,000 less than expected. The city has until next September to pay off the balance, with staff contending that the rate increase will cover 87 percent of the debt and guard against any increase in 2013.

Go here to view the staff report. Other items on the agenda include whether to spend another $225,980 for consultants to revise the El Camino Real/downtown specific plan, which has inspired reams of angry email to the city.

The regular council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, 701 Laurel St. Prior to that, the council meets in closed session regarding negotiations with Service Employees International Union representatives at 5 p.m. and then for a study session at 6 p.m. to evaluate taking over Flood Park from the county.

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Like this comment
Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Dec 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

In these annual rate increases, there will come a "tipping point" and I don't mean what you guys do with our trash cans into your trucks. At that point in time, it will be less expensive for me to drive my trash to the nearest dumpster I can find.

The neighborhood might even chip in for our own dumpster, emptied weekly. The number of obligatory fees attached to our yearly property taxes, plus all the other utility costs, are on a rapidly climbing curve that exceeds the base national inflation rate.

So, Recology, just keep at it, until you start losing customers who want to get off the garbage "grid," and will find alternative solutions to your costly service.

And, while I'm at it, I find your little black garbage cans too small to be functional. Is that intentional?

Just thinking out loud here.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

This increase is a nickle and dime philosophy and the city will go along with it.

I also agree with Mr. Engel about the garbage bid. Bad design -- too small, poorly configured, top heavy, and blows over easily in the wind.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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