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City eyes garbage rate hike

The Dalles City Council will consider a 1.9 percent increase in garbage rates at Monday’s meeting that will go into effect Jan. 1 if approved.

The request for a rate adjustment in solid waste and recycling services has been made by The Dalles Disposal to offset higher operational costs, such as health care and truck and equipment repair. The company is also preparing for Wasco County Landfill’s expected 1 percent fee increase in the gate rate and pass-through Household Hazardous Waste tax that will be enacted in January.

The city council convenes at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 in the municipal chambers at city hall, 313 Court Street.

If the rate increase is approved, the city will receive a modest increase in the franchise fee collected from the company. The fee is calculated on the amount of gross revenue received by the disposal service.

The new garbage rates would find residents with a 20-gallon can and weekly pickup paying $11.19 per month instead of $10.99. The cost for a 32-gallon can rises from $15.87 to $16.15, and the 90-gallon rollcart will go from $23.28 to $23.69.

The 60-gallon yard debris rollcart bill will be $7.86 per month instead of $7.78.

The disposal service provider was given a 1.9 percent increase for 2013.

Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting is the third annual review of development fee credits that were implemented in 2010 to encourage economic growth.

Each year the elected body evaluates whether the reduction in charges for infrastructure improvements associated with new commercial construction of expansion of an existing operation is still needed.

Dave Anderson, public works director, is reporting that between Sept. 1, 2012, and Oct. 31, 2013, there were 12 non-residential building permit applications involving credits that were received by the city planning department. He said these structures totaled $9 million in value.

Five of these applications were eligible to be assessed charges for street and utility upgrades and one received a full credit against new fees due to previous use of the site. A second development was given a 25 percent credit for job creation.

Two of the remaining three developments received a 50 percent discount in fees and one a 75 percent credit.

The city collected $11,151.58 from these projects to upgrade infrastructure and provided relief valued at $3,310.

A total of $196,224 credits have been granted since the council decided in 2010 to roll back some of the charges enacted in 2007 due to the poor state of the economy.

The fee was adopted to cover the cost of infrastructure upgrades to accommodate an increase in traffic tied to development. The credits were recommended by a special work group that was appointed by former mayor Jim Wilcox to study the issue in April of 2010.

Anderson and Dan Durow, former director of the city’s Community Development department, worked with four citizens to come up with the plan for application of credits that include six different categories. These include:

• Re-use or redevelopment of an existing historic building in downtown The Dalles that involves no more than 50 percent of the building’s footprint and 5,000 square feet of space. This type of project earns a 100 percent waiver of charges.

• Re-use or redevelopment of an existing building with the same size limitations anywhere else in the city, which qualifies for a 75 percent waiver of frees.

• New development or expansion at the current site of a business that has been in operation for at least two years, a 50 percent credit.

• Relocation of a business into new headquarters anywhere in the city of 5,000 square feet or less that will employ up to 10 people, a 75 percent reduction in fees.

• A business with a workforce of up to 20 people and new construction within the city of 10,000 square feet or less, a 50 percent credit.


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