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Artesia, CA, July 16, 2015 – The City of Artesia’s trash hauling franchise agreement is expiring in November 2015. In anticipation, last November the City Council considered its options for addressing the expiration of this contract, and ultimately decided that the best approach would be to directly negotiate with prospective haulers for a new franchise agreement. Those negotiations have taken place over the last several months and have resulted in a proposed contract for solid waste handling services with waste hauler CR&R Incorporated. The proposed franchise agreement will be considered by the Artesia City Council at a special meeting scheduled for 6pm Monday night, July 20, 2015.
City Manager William Rawlings acknowledged the comprehensive negotiation process,
“Franchise agreements are critically important long-term contracts and the Council wanted to make sure that the agreement would serve the City’s residents and businesses well, over the life of the contract. We’ve implemented the Council’s direction and are now ready to make a recommendation.”
The proposed agreement puts the City on the cutting edge of modern and best practices for franchise agreements. It provides for numerous community benefits:
• Numerous collection programs for solid waste, recyclables, green waste, and organic waste• Bulky Item Services includes four free pick-ups per year• Residential Sharps Collection • Electronic Waste Collection• Scout and Push-Out Services• Holiday Tree Collection• Provides a system to implement any new collection programs that may become mandated• Numerous services to the City, including but not limited to: o Free bins for the collection of illegally dumped materials o Free collection services at City-sponsored events o Free City-wide clean-up events o Free collection of solid waste from City facilities (a substantial savings compared to current practices)
“There are numerous free services that residents will benefit from, like a free cart walk-out service for residents with disabilities and the ability to have four bulky items picked up every year, for free. These quality-of-life benefits were as important to our negotiations as the financial considerations.”
The franchise agreement provides for various payments to the City of Artesia resulting in about $3,091,000 in first year revenues and savings to the City. Continuing annual payments will be about $560,000 per year.
“This structure is important because this revenue can be used to stabilize the City’s financial foundation and to pay for important basic services like public safety.”
Franchise fees are classified as General Fund revenues; as such they can be spent on necessary General Fund operations as required for general governmental services including public safety, parks, streets, and sidewalk maintenance, among other important City services.
The proposed contract, which is about 95 pages long, in contrast to the existing contract which is seven pages long, provides multiple safeguards and protections for the City and its residents. Rawlings commented on the rates in the proposal,
“The proposed contract maintains current rates for residents and businesses and, in keeping with Council goals, strategically includes a provision to allow the lowering of rates in the future as the City stabilizes its long-term financial situation.“
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