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Utility bill shocker: Lower rates!
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on December 17 2009, 1:16pm by Mark Esper in Local News category
Pay-as-you dump philosophy mans a cut in basic trash fee.
By Mark Esper
Silverton residents will be in for a shock when their first utility bill arrives in 2010.
As a result of the rate structure being finalized by the Town Council, household utility bills are likely to be LOWER!
Town Clerk Brian Carlson explained that although the town’s basic charge for residential water service will go up 2.5 percent (to $73.34 bi-monthly) and sewer rates will rise 8.5 percent (to $79.14 bi-monthly), trash fees will plummet 35 percent.
This will result in a net savings of $7.04 per bill for most households.
And dozens of home businesses in town will see even more savings, as most of those 71 customers will see trash rates cut to the basic residential rate, instead of being charged 1.5 times that rate.
“It’s a winning scenario for all involved,” Carlson said. “What we worked out with (Silverton Trash LLC owner) Brian (Fullmer) is a hybrid pay-as-you-go system.”
Carlson said the basic contract calls for the town to pay Silverton Trash $114,579 to handle recyclables and compactible trash at the transfer station.
But with the town moving to a pay-as-you-dump philosophy, residents and businesses will now be charged $40.61 a cubic yard for noncompactible trash and will face fees for dropping off tires and old appliances during their excursions to the transfer station.
Town officials noted that with the trash rate decrease, residents could deliver 2-1/3 cubic yards of noncompactible refuse on the pay-as-you-dump basis and would still be paying about the same as they are now.
Carlson said those fees may be revised later and at any rate the new trash rates will likely not be approved until early January.
“This is meant for us to just get started and see how it goes,” Carlson said. The town is also developing a plan to make sure that nonresidents pay cash at the dump.
“We’re confident we can work something out that’s manageable,” Carlson said.
The plan presented Monday night would have had the town collecting the fees for the noncompactible items, which Trustee David Zanoni noted was a change from just a week ago.
Trustee John Schertz said he thought the idea was to have Silverton Trash take care of the billing on those items at the transfer station.
“Tires and appliances — that needs to be his end,” Schertz said.
“That’s how I want to see it,” Zanoni added. “I’d like to put it back to the way the committee intended.”
Zanoni added that the Town Council will still have to approve the pricing for such items.
The council gave unanimous conditional approval of the new 5-year  contract with Silverton Trash, provided those conditions are met.
Trustee Pat Swonger thanked Carlson for his work on forging the new trash compact.
“It was such a can of worms,” Swonger said.
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