August 20, 2015
Medford City Hall, Medford Room
411 West Eighth Street, Medford, Oregon
The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 6:30 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Daniel Bunn, Chris Corcoran, Dick Gordon, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine, Michael Zarosinski
City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke; City Recorder Karen Spoonts
Councilmember Clay Bearnson was absent.
Rogue Disposal Green Waste
Garry Penning of Rogue Disposal & Recycling (RDR) stated that the green waste program was established in 1999 as a pilot program in order to increase RDRís landfill waste diversion efforts. The initial rate for this pilot program was $3.50 per month, and that rate has never been adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of providing the service. It has only had CPI adjustments applied, beginning in 2007. RDR is requesting an increase on our optional subscription green waste program, effective January 1, 2016. The current rate is $4.50/month for customers who are on garbage service, and $5.77 without garbage service. The requested percentage above would be $6.50 per month for customers who are on garbage service, and $8.33 without garbage service.
Mr. Penning stated that the cost of service analysis (COSA) done by their independent CPA shows that green waste rates are significantly below what they need to be for providing this service. Charging customers the full cost of service for green waste could cause customers to abandon the service, reduce diversion rates, and increase green waste going to the landfill; all negative consequences. To avoid these negative consequences, RDR is asking for a green waste rate increase for an amount that will meet with market acceptance without causing significant loss in customer participation, thus allowing the program to return to financial sustainability while preserving our waste diversion policy objectives. The proposed rate is also consistent with the rates charged by other haulers in our region, and around the state. For example, both Ashland and Eagle Point are $6.00 and up.
Councilmember Corcoran questioned how much backlash he expects; Mr. Penning noted that they do expect some but this is an optional service. Councilmember Corcoran questioned if they are making mulch and bark; he noted that they do and explained the process it goes through which has done that since 1999. Councilmember Corcoran questioned what the profit on that is; Mr. Penning was unsure but noted it is part of the landfill operation but compost is like any other commodity, you do it as people want it but the demand is low and the supply is high. They compete with others from Portland and down and are regulated by the County.
Mr. Penning noted they are trying to not have an overall rate increase but put the increases where it is needed. Councilmember Bunn questioned if we have the Cost of Services Analysis; Mr. Penning noted that he sent the summary to City Manager Pro Tem Bill Hoke. Mr. Penning noted that he will need Councilís approval for the rate increase and that the contract will need to be renewed next year.
Councilmember Gordon would like something that is staggered; Mr. Penning stated that he thought about that but this is an optional service and will be implemented in the winter months. Mr. Hoke stated that you would see this in the second meeting of September and the leaf contract will be on September 3.
Councilmember Zarosinski questioned what would happen if the City did not approve the; Mr. Penning noted that the rate increase would be across the board; he further stated that other cities have already approved this. Mr. Penning provided information on their study such as mobile home parks where their rate increases will increase to what other are currently being charged. Councilmember Matthews questioned the last rate increase; Mr. Penning thought it was in 2010.
The meeting adjourned to the regular City Council meeting at 6:47 p.m.
Karen M. Spoonts, MMC