Small rate hikes pass first reading in Aberdeen


The City of Aberdeen is considering rate hike proposals for garbage pickup and water service. Ordinances raising rates passed on first reading Wednesday night at the Aberdeen City Council meeting, but still need to go through public hearings (scheduled for Dec. 30) and final passage.

Average rates for the most popular garbage service (65 -gallon totes emptied every other week) will go up by 23 cents a month, site manager for LeMay Enterprises Paul Dionne, told the council. LeMay proposed the increase, which must be approved by the council.

Councilman Jerry Mills asked whether LeMay will be able to provide curbside pickup service for glass and yard waste anytime soon. Dionne said the market for recyclables mixed with glass, driven by markets in China, has disappeared. LeMay trucks transport glass all the way to Oregon.

As for yard waste, he said interest has been expressed in Cosmopolis, Montesano and Elma, but that the “impediment is participation” countywide. As long as people prefer dumping yard waste in so-called unofficial dumps around the county, collecting yard waste will be hard to make economically feasible, he said.

He said LeMay will do what is wanted and needed, saying there is space at the transfer station to take in yard waste should the demand materialize, Dionne said.

Food waste, Dionne said, “is fraught with difficulties.” It “stinks bad” and has caused problems elsewhere, he noted.

Public Works Committee Chairman Tim Alstrom spoke in favor of the hike in water rates, which he said would also minimally affect the wallet in terms of cost per hundred cubic feet. Councilmember Margo Shortt also spoke in favor of the hike, termed “very small” by Alstrom. The increase will also help preserve reserves the city has shored up against breakages or other emergency needs for water and is not nearly as high as those requested in recent years, Shortt said.

Residential increases will rise from $25.27 to $25.78 for up to 399 cubic feet of water per month, and from $30.96 to $31.58 per 400 1,299 cubic feet per month.

Commercial consumption will rise an additional 4 cents to 7 cents on amounts greater than 1,100 cubic feet per month.

Because the public hearings are not until Dec. 30, the rate increases may start Feb. 1, 2014, rather than Jan. 1, Alstrom said.

 

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