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Garbage rates to rise in ‘14

The Dalles Disposal received permission from city officials Monday to raise garbage rates by 1.9 percent on Jan. 1.

Jim Winterbottom and Erwin Sweatnam, administrators for the company, told council members that the adjustment was needed to offset higher operational costs, such as health care and truck and equipment repair. The disposal service is also preparing for Wasco County Landfill’s expected 1 percent fee increase in the gate and pass-through Household Hazardous Waste tax that will be enacted in January.

The new cost to residents with a 20-gallon can that is emptied weekly will be $11.19 per month instead of $10.99. 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 will be $7.86 per month instead of $7.78. A commercial dumpster that holds 1.5 yards of debris will be $84.71 in place of $86.23.

In other business on Nov. 25, the council decided to retain the development fee credits that have been in place since 2010 to encourage economic growth.

Each year, the city conducts a review of the reduction in charges for infrastructure improvements for new commercial construction or expansion of an existing business to determine if they are still needed.

“It seems to me this is a good thing,” said Mayor Steve Lawrence after getting a report by Dave Anderson, city public works director.

Anderson said it was difficult to measure the success of the program. He said no one had come to the counter in the planning department and then walked away after finding out about the cost of a development. He said people moving into the area were used to paying the fees, which were in the middle range for the state because of the credits.

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, according to Anderson.

These structures totaled $9 million in value and five of the applications were eligible to be assessed charges for street and utility upgrades. 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 $111,151.58 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 three years ago to roll back some of the charges enacted in 2007 due to the poor state of the economy.

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