Waste fees adjusted
Jan. 15, 2013 — A 3.05 percent rate increase for services is in effect for residential and commercial customers of C & S Waste Solutions of Lassen County.
According to Lassen Regional Solid Waste Management Authority (LRSWMA), Tom Valentino, C & S Waste Solutions is entitled to an annual rate adjustment per the refuse collection franchise agreement the company was awarded in April 2011.
The new rates went into effect Jan. 1 and are based on calculations from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) for All West Urban Consumers, Non-Seasonally Adjusted and the Energy Information Administration California No. 2 Diesel Retail prices.
The period for the rate adjustments are from October 2011 through October 2012. Valentino said during that time the CPI increase was 2.52 percent and the diesel fuel increase was 7.81 percent.
The rate increase is calculated by adding the sum of 90 percent of the CPI and 10 percent of the diesel retail prices.
Rate increases vary each year, for example when Lassen Waste Systems had the contract, rates increased by 4.30 percent in 2009. There was no increase in 2010 and there was a 1.12 percent increase in 2011.
New rates were already in place in 2012 when C & S Waste Solutions started local services.
The waste hauler also has a 5 percent cap on the rate increases under normal operating conditions in any one year. If rates exceed 5 percent, the excess amount will be continued to the following year.
Valentino explained the increases help keep the rates low overall, because a company can bid low knowing the adjustments are in place and prevent extraordinary costs in the future.
The refuse collection fee increases are automatic every year and are not subject to the board of directors approval unless there is a disagreement between authority staff and the franchise waste hauler. The matter was agendized for the Dec. 11 meeting of the LRSWMA board of directors.
Board director Jim Chapman asked if any of the ratcheting factors bottoms out, is there a corresponding decrease.
According to Valentino, there is no mechanism in place to reduce the rates in the bid. But, if the factors do decrease, rates are not increased, which was the case in 2010.
Chapman suggested the situation be monitored for future contract negotiations and they look at what kind of mechanisms that could be put in place to bring a reduction based on any of the given factors dropping below a certain point.
“If it dropped by 10 percent on the CPI … or the fuel, then we take those factors into consideration. Because I think the consumer, they never get a break,” Chapman said.
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