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No garbage rate increase for Lathrop senior citizens
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LATHROP – Garbage collection rates for all residential households and commercial facilities in Lathrop will go up starting July 1. The only exceptions are the seniors in the community who are on fixed income.

The request for the exception was made by Council member Sonny Dhaliwal to Allied Waste of San Joaquin County during last week’s City Council meeting.

“Can we do the seniors’ increase next year and freeze the CPI increase this year?” he asked Kevin Basso of Allied West.

With Basso agreeing to the request, the council unanimously voted to approve the .73 percent garbage collection hike except the city’s fixed-income seniors.

Council member Christopher Mateo described the .73 percent rate boost as “negligible,” but Dhaliwal said after the meeting that for people especially seniors on fixed incomes during these hard economic times, “every little bit helps.”

Senior rates under the newly approved increases will jump from $18.84 to $18.98 a month for a small 30-gallon garbage container (a difference of 14 cents). Increases for the medium-sized containers (60 gallons) and large containers (90 gallons) are 15 cents and 17 cents, respectively.

Increases for mobile homes and trailer parks are about the same, with standard residential rates just a few cents more – from 17 cents for a small container to 22 cents for the largest 90-gallon container.

Lathrop privatized its garbage collection in 2003 with Allied Waste, the former Lathrop Sunrise Sanitation Corporation, being awarded the contract. Residential and commercial rates are reviewed on an annual basis, according to the contract between the city and Allied Waste, with rate adjustments taking effect at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.

Rate adjustments, under the agreement, are based on the Consumer Price Index for San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose but not to exceed 4 percent.

The last increase in garbage rates was approved by the council for the fiscal year 2007-08 starting on July 1, 2007 with an increase for both residential and commercial of 3.2 percent.

During the height of The Great Recession – that is, fiscal year 2008-09 and 2009-10 - Allied West decided to freeze residential and commercial rates and did not file and request for rate adjustments with the city.

This latest rate increase is based on the Consumer Price Index for the period between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009 which was 0.73 percent.