Fees for refuse in Mammoth Lakes are expected to rise starting July 1, 2009. After two and a half years of negotiating a new franchise agreement with Waste Connections, the parent company of Mammoth Disposal, the Town is only two weeks away from completing the process.
At the May 20 Council meeting, Human Resources and Risk Management Director for the Town, Michael Grossblatt explained that while the franchise agreement was very near completion it would have to wait until the June 3 meeting to be presented to Council. Grossblatt was, however, ready for the Council to approve the fee increases that would go along with the franchise agreement.
Fees would increase over the five year term of the proposed franchise agreement. A portion of the increases, a capital adjustment of 2.5 percent in 2009 and another of 3.5 percent in 2010, will be used to help the Town purchase the Expansion Parcel they hope to acquire. The Town expects to not only purchase the land that the transfer station sits on, but also to acquire the neighboring parcel in order to expand the facility for future waste and recycling needs. According to Grossblatt the purchase of these parcels is important because it will allow the community of Mammoth to have control of their own destiny with respect to all solid waste and recycling programs, including the ability to competitively bid out future franchise agreements.
A public hearing was held on May 20, but no one from the community spoke for or against the fee increases. A notice about the fee increases, sent out on March 31, had only returned 11 written protests out of the 540 that were mailed, which did not constitute a majority protest. Therefore, the Council approved the rate increases, which will go into effect on July 1 as long as the franchise agreement is approved on June 3.