Saturday, May 25, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
July 17, 2012
INDEPENDENCE -- Independence City Council unanimously approved an 8 percent rate increase for local garbage and recycling collection.
Customers of Brandt's Sanitary Service will see the changes in their bills starting Aug. 1.
"I see that this is a tough time and people are hurting," Councilor Forrest Peck said. "Implementing a rate increase doesn't feel good.
"At the same time, we have businesses that need to cover their costs and are doing a decent job," Peck continued. "It's about finding a balance."
Independence had held off on Brandt's proposal in June for further deliberation. Monmouth approved the rate increase last month.
Brandt's last rate adjustment for overall costs was October of 2005. Costs were adjusted in 2009 to cover curbside recycling and yard debris service.
Dennis Trine, the company's manager, has said higher prices were necessary to absorb expenses resulting from enhanced service and for higher tipping (dumping) fees at the regional landfill.
The cost of fuel and general insurance, for example, has risen by 55 percent and 81 percent since 2009, according to the company.
Brandt's has 2,075 customers in Independence, with 1,970 of them residential.
Financial information provided by Brandt's stated the company had an operating margin of 4 percent in 2010-11 and less than a percent in 2011-12 because of higher expenses. The rate increases brings that margin to 7.6 percent.
Brandt's Rate Adjustment
Estele Harlan, a waste management consultant from Lincoln City, said the industry standard for the state is about 10 percent.