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ISLAMORADA: WILL COUNCIL MEMBERS DENY GARBAGE COLLECTION PROPOSED 7% INCREASE IN COMMERCIAL PICKUP?

Islamorada village staff is recommending council members deny a commercial rate increase for trash disposal services when they meet for a meeting on Thursday, July 22, at 5:30 p.m., inside Founders Park Community Center. 

An amendment to an agreement with Advanced Disposal, which was acquired last October by Waste Management, requests a 7% commercial rate hike. During a May 20 meeting, officials with Waste Management told the dais the reason behind the increase is to compensate for increased customer service costs.

Council members ended up tabling the matter in May, following lengthy discussion over what company the dais would be working with, Advanced Disposal or Waste Management, and concern over the proposed hike. 

Advanced Disposal is a wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management. The acquisition of Advanced Disposal by Waste Management was complicated — taking roughly 18 months and going through federal regulatory hurdles.

Greg Sullivan, local manager for Waste Management, said the commercial rate hike is attributed to the cost of business in the Keys, rising prices on tires, steel and fuel and paying employees a living wage. 

“We’re in the same boat everyone else is in to keep employees,” he told the dais in May. 

A staff analysis of the proposed amendment states that no specific evidence was provided justifying the proposed price increase. The contract as written allows for an annual increase based on the consumer price index, currently at 5.1%, of no more than 3% in a given year. 

If council members were open to considering an additional increase over the current contract limit of 3%, staff is recommending the dais consider a one-time increase over the 3% cap of 5.1% to coincide with the consumer price index. 

An increase in commercial rates would result in a corresponding increase in the 15% franchise fees that the village receives on both commercial collections. The village receives about $600,000 in franchise fees annually. 

In addition to a rate hike, the proposed amendment to the agreement requested an earlier start time for garbage trucks to 5 a.m. Staff analysis of the change states that allowing trucks to start sooner would be inconsistent with the village government’s mission to protect residents’ right to quiet enjoyment of life. 

“I hear the garbage guys when they come through at 6 a.m. in the morning. Now it’s later,” said Vice Mayor Pete Bacheler. “Some of those concerns voiced were accurate and very worthwhile.”

Islamorada’s contract with Advanced Disposal to provide commercial and residential pickup dates back to 2013. Amendments to the agreement were made in 2017 and 2018 to reflect pricing for commercial equipment, increases for prior consumer price index adjustments and increased disposal costs.

The post ISLAMORADA: WILL COUNCIL MEMBERS DENY GARBAGE COLLECTION PROPOSED 7% INCREASE IN COMMERCIAL PICKUP? appeared first on Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers.

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