Eight years ago, Manteca did not charge the solid waste fund for street sweeping.
Instead it was funded by the general fund and not the solid waste enterprise account that is supported by rates charged to households and businesses for garbage service.
That changed in 2009 when the city was trying to bridge an $11.9 million general fund deficit. The council — on staff recommendation — shifted what costs they legally could to restricted funds and enterprise funds such as solid waste, water and sewer.
The inclusion of street sweeping to the tune of $268,070 a year as well as leaf collection are costs that weren’t factored into the current garbage rates when they were adopted 13 years ago.
That means the shift of street sweeping from the general fund to the solid waste fund drew down projected reserves by $1.7 million that wasn’t anticipated when the rates went into effect in 2004.
Likewise, the city did not charge growth the actual cost of starting new service that includes the purchase of three Toters per household. Based on the charge that will go into place next year if adopted by the council, service to just built homes will be $420 meaning the city did not recovery at least $2 million spent since 2004 to add new customers to collection routes.
Altogether that reflects at least a $3.7 million drain on reserves either by adding costs that weren’t part of the rate adopted in 2004 or failing to make sure growth paid its way. That would have been enough to cover all of the major equipment replacement — primarily collection trucks — that Manteca needs to buy for 2017, 2018, and 2019 and still have $500,000 left over. The cost of replacing trucks between 2017 and 2021 is pegged at $5.3 million.
The new rates being considered for adoption Dec. 6 by the Manteca City Council reflect street sweeping costs as well as other services that people may not associate with their weekly garbage collection. The services include cleaning up homeless encampments, the Shred It events, leaf pickup, evidence storage for Manteca Police, E-waste collection, cleaning up illegal dumping, Christmas tree clean-up and staffing special events such as the Christmas parade where the city waives clean-up costs to support the event.
The Shred It events cost $12,200, E-waste collection $8,000, collecting garbage from parks $42,176, working with police on drug busts $9,600, and homeless camp cleanups $14,400.
The big ticket item was the once-a-year free 2-yard community cleanup bin that 3,955 people used last year at a cost of $539,250. The city has the free program to encourage people to keep yards clean and not allow debris to pile up.
The proposed rates
The monthly rate structure the council is considering for phasing in over five years starting in 2017 until fully implemented in 2021:
It would take the 35-gallon Toter from $19.78 to $30.67 for a $10.85 per month increase.
It would take the 65-gallon Toter from $25.49 to $32.61 for a $7.12 per month increase
It would take the 95-gallon Toter from $30.02 to $34.33 for a $4.11 per month increase.
It would take senior low-income Toter service from $12.72 to $19.72 for a $7 per month increase.
It would take 1-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $67.57 to $119.80.
It would take 2-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $97.44 to $132.71.
It would take 3 yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $120.05 to $145.62
It would take 3 yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $317.96 to $436.85.
It would take 4-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $146.72 to $158.53.
It would take 4-yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $388.31 to $475.58.
It would take 6-yard commercial bins picked up once a week from $196.06 down to $184.34.
It would take 6-yard commercial bins picked up three times a week from $529.42 to $553.03.
The rate structure would give the city a 21 percent operating reserve for the solid waste enterprise fund by 2021. It has fallen below 25 percent and is projected to drop to 19 percent or $2,138,804 by 2021 if new rates aren’t put in place.
The proposed rate hike is following Proposition 218 restrictions. That means the rates charged cannot exceed the cost of providing the service. One segment of ratepayers such as commercial cannot subsidize another such as residential. The City Council is required to consider all protests.
Proposition 218 requires written notices of the proposed rate increase are being sent to all affected landowners and tenants.
A public hearing notice would be published Nov. 25 with the protest hearing taking place Dec. 6. The second reading or adoption would be on Dec. 20.
Impacted ratepayers would be notified Jan. 18, 2017 with new rates going into effect Feb. 6, 2017.The first payments of the new rates takes place April 15, 2017.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org