If the comments made on are any indication, Tuesday's Belmont City Council meeting should be quite lively.
The issue is whether or not the city council will approve . The increase would apply to all customers---both residential and business.
Pursuant to Proposition 218, the city is required to hold a public hearing for any proposed assessments or fee increases.
Recology, the city's trash, recycling and compost collection service provider, says the increase is necessary because of the "migration" of residents to smaller garbage cans. By recycling and composting more, there is less garbage to dispose of, however, the cost of disposal at area landfill sites continues to rise. According to Recology, the migration to smaller cans is causing the company to lose revenue.
Under the current progressive rate structure, customers who use 20-gallon garbage cans pay far less than those who use the 32-gallon or larger cans. And businesses pay more than residents for all size cans.
At its November 9 meeting, the council listened to a presentation by the city's finance department that outlined a range of financial mechanisms and service reductions that could potenially lessen the proposed 22.6 percent increase. However, none of the scenarios presented sat well with councilmembers, in fact, the rate structures and various options for lowering the rates were confusing and complicated.
Councilmember Warren Lieberman emphasized that he is in favor of progressive rates, "But our rates are too progressive."
Mayor Coralin Feierach told staff, "I will not vote for the 22 percent raise. Come back with some figures and some options we can work with."
Councilmembers asked city staff to come back with some other options for avoiding the steep increase. City manager Greg Scoles said staff would come back with some alternatives to mitigate the progressive tiered rate structure.
At the public hearing, anyone wishing to address the council on the rate increase is asked to fill out a simple form, which is handed to the city clerk. Speakers will be called in the order by which they turn in their form.
For information on how to file a formal protest, see
The Belmont City Council meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, One Twin Pines Lane. For more information, or for the complete staff report and agenda, go to www.belmont.gov.