After months of discussion, the Franklin Township Board of Trustees decided to pass a resolution which would change the townships garbage system to single-hauler.
The resolution was passed two-to-one during their Sept. 16 regular meeting; Trustee Don Cook voted against the movement and said he doesnt believe enough residents are informed about the issue.
The township included a survey to poll community opinion in their last newsletter, which was said to be sent to every home in the township. However, some residents present at meetings have said they never received the newsletter; the board received over 95 responses from their survey.
They voted for a five year contract, with two additional one year extensions, and a built-in out clause after three years. This contract will include three services, which include trash pick-up, recycling, and yard waste. Residents will be paying $13.78 fixed per month for these services when it goes into effect later this year.
SWACO will be officially awarding the winning bid from the 11 companies who picked up applications to be the townships single-hauler, but according to Trustee Chair Timothy Guyton they are recommending Local Waste.
According to Guyton, two possible surcharges could be added to the $13.78 monthly cost.
A fuel surcharge can be added depending on the density of the area the hauler is collecting from, but the fuel needs to go up or down by 25 cents for the charge to go into effect.
However, if the fuel surcharge results in a 20 percent increase in charges the township has the power to terminate the contract.
The second surcharge can come from tipping fees, like the one recently approved by SWACO.
“We are focused this evening on the rates that we charge at our landfill, the fees the haulers pay us to dump at the landfill, Executive Director of SWACO Ron Mills said.
SWACOs latest increase could add 50 cents per month to the average household, equaling an additional six dollars per year for households. The SWACO Board of Trustees voted 9-0 to approve the rate increase on Sept. 29.
Mills said they have found on average that one household brings in one ton of garbage each year.
“We will phase in that six dollar increase over two years, Mills said,Three dollars in 2011, $3 in 2012.
Mills added,This is what youd be paying the hauling company that takes the garbage away to our landfill.
“It is possible the hauler may choose to eat the increase, Guyton said.
Since SWACOs increase will raise the fees haulers must pay to dump in the landfill, Mills said residents should examine their bills from their hauler if the adoption passes.
However, the increase in charges for residents will come from the haulers, not directly from SWACO.
“If our proposal is adopted, if its implemented, look at the bill you get from your hauler and see how much, if any, they are raising your monthly fee. They may not raise it at all, they may raise it the 50 cents per household that Im telling you is what it should average out to, or they may try to charge you an extra two dollars, Mills said.Im not saying theyre going to try and rip people off – Im saying that we all need to be aware of the bills we receive in the mail.
According to Mills, over the previous 18 years SWACO has not requested an increase in its rates that go into operation costs of the actual landfill. He said this increase will generate 5.4 million dollars in additional revenue for their operations.
These funds will be used to put an end to borrowing money to purchase equipment, and to rebuild the transfer station on Morse Road.
“The transfer station on Morse Road is about to collapse, its in terrible shape, Mills said.It should have been rebuilt years ago, but SWACO management up until today has decided we dont want to ask for a rate increase…but Im here tonight to tell you that we cannot defer it any longer. Last year we spent $35,000 to maintain that station. Its under capacity, the 350,000 didnt do much more than put band aids on it.
Mills said without the proposed increase they would have had to close the Morse Road station next year, which would have resulted in a restriction of landfill operation hours, and prevented waste management services from operating in the capacity they currently do, creating backups at the landfill.