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Oceanside officials approve solid waste rate increase

OCEANSIDE — City Council unanimously approved a resolution adopting a 44-cent rate increase for solid waste collection at its April 10 meeting.

Staff recommended council approve the annual request for a Consumer Price Index adjustment to contractor compensation under the city’s solid waste service contract with Waste Management of California.

Additionally, staff recommended council adopt a resolution establishing the solid waste and recycling user rates and to direct staff to implement the user rates and provider charges.

The city’s current contract with Waste Management, which was approved on Oct. 20, 2010, and is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2023, established initial rates for residential and commercial collection services.

A portion of the rate is to be paid to Waste Management and another portion is paid to the city for administration of the contract.

Waste Management has the opportunity to request an annual adjustment to be effective at the beginning of each July.

The adjusted rate is based on either 100% of the difference in this year’s and the previous year’s National All-Cities CPI-U or 75% of the difference in this year’s and the previous year’s San Diego Area CPI-U, whichever is higher, according to the staff report.

Staff verified the effective increase of 2.53% is based on the San Diego CPI-U. The increase applies only to the payment to Waste Management, while all city waste-related fees remain the same.

The standard residential rate will crease by 44 cents each month, or $5.28 each year.

Council also unanimously approved the introduction of an ordinance clarifying that certain public projects funded by Measure X sales tax proceeds and alternate funding for the Aquatics Center at El Corazon are not subject to voter approval.

The city’s debt limit ordinance excludes several types of projects and funding sources, according to the staff report.

Because Measure X is a voter-approved general tax that provides additional funding beyond general fund revenue, it is similar to those projects that are excluded from the debt limit ordinance.

City staff doesn’t anticipate long-term debt associated with Measure X projects, short-term internal borrowing may be needed to advance funds for the Fire Station 1 project or other large proposed projects.

In terms of the Aquatic Center, in February the city directed staff to develop a financing plan anticipating the issuance of bonds to fund the pool’s construction.

Previous presentations regarding Aquatics Center funding focused on a new bond issue to be repaid with general fund revenue that will be freed up when the current Civic Center debt is repaid this December.

The existing debt was exempt from the debt limit ordinance and the anticipated bond issue will not increase the city’s per capita debt since it will replace debt currently on the books.

Staff recommends the council approves the ordinance to exclude those projects funded with Measure X and the Aquatics Center from the debt limit ordinance.

Council could also repeal the debt limit ordinance entirely, since the economic conditions that led to council adopting the ordinance in 1984 no longer exist.

Council clarified that no funding from Measure X would go to the Aquatics Center project after several concerned residents questioned if this ordinance would allow that.

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