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Sonora Garbage Fees Could Go Up

It could cost more to have your trash picked up in Sonora.

Bills for residential one can, curb-side trash pick-up in Sonora could go up 56 cents a month if the Sonora City Council gives the go-ahead following a public hearing tonight.

City Administrator Greg Applegate is optimistic the increase, proposed by Cal Sierra Disposal to cover inflation, will be approved. ´We´ve run it through our finance committee and two council members sit on our finance committee,” Applegate said this afternoon. “They are recommending approval, so we need to pick up a third vote this evening.”

The last time garbage rates went up was 1995. He said the city lawmakers look to see how such an increase will affect residents. “We´re not talking about a substantial impact, and that is always one of the first concerns,” he said. “We look at how this going to impact the individual whose on Social Security or limited income.”

If approved, new rates would go into effect October 1.

The city plans to also establish a solid waste franchise fee collected from Cal Sierra. Applegate says the franchise fee has been in the city´s contract with the trash hauler since 1995.

“Probably every city in the state of California has a franchise fee,” Applegate explained. He said these are very common fees that exclusive franchise operators pay to operate in cities and counties.

The City of Sonora has similar agreements with Comcast Cable and PG and E, Applegate said. The fee from Cal Sierra would help off-set the cost of repairs to city streets.

“What a lot of people don´t realize is that the trucks themselves create a lot of impact on city streets,” Applegate said. “I think this is going to give a little injection of revenue for our general fund i.e., roads.”

He says the 2 percent fee collected from Cal Sierra would put $17,000 into city general fund each year.