City & Government, Creswell

Sanipac pitches 2.9% rate increase – Council questions yearly rising costs

Sanipac representatives Monday attended a Creswell City Council work session and requested a rate increase, but councilors want to hear more before approving another annual increase.
Sanipac representatives Brian White and Aaron Donley were seeking a 2.9% rate increase due to ”unavoidable costs which ultimately affect the rate structure.” That includes issues like the $1.97 per ton increase to the disposal cost of waste fee that became effective in July, and the ongoing volatile state of the plastic recycling market.
Donley said the recycling commodities market is ”still doom and gloom;” China shut down recycling so other countries like India are becoming saturated, though the market has ”somewhat leveled off at a high level.”
The effect of the proposed increase on Sanipac’s most common residential service is 62 cents per month for a 35-gallon trash can picked up weekly, Donley said. Those who have the curbside yard debris service that was implemented in 2018 will not see an increase tacked on to that service because it is still so new. That yard debris service is used at 243 residencies in town, White said.
Council President Amy Knudsen said she needed more justification before she could approve the increase, noting that Sanipac requests rate increases ”year after year after year.”
Donley said Sanipac asks annually to avoid asking for larger increases covering several years.
Last year, by a vote of 5-2, council approved a 4.8% across-the-board increase to cover operational costs and landfill cost increases. Sanipac’s rates in Creswell also increased in 2016 and in ’17.
Knudsen was one of the two councilors who voted against the increase last year. She inquired whether the council has ever voted down a rate hike request from Sanipac, but no one could recall. Knudsen asked to review a history of rate increases at a future meeting.
She said that Sanipac comes to the city and tells council of ”all the increases and costs (Sanipac has to) suffer, but Sanipac is owned by Waste Connections – a national company.” White said that while Sanipac is owned by a national company, Sanipac focuses strictly in the Willamette Valley.
White said that the rates are not based on a national target but rather reflect the actual costs of providing the service in the Willamette Valley. ”The rising fuel costs and wage increases are directly related to those who service this area,” he said. ”The centralized focus is right here. ”
Knudsen requested more detailed information to justify the rate increase and Donley said he’ll prepare a report for council review.
The next city council meeting is Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend.



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