Saturday, August 17, 2013

County Manager's Office Reduces Proposed Garbage Rate Hike

BEVARD COUNTY, Florida --  The Brevard County Manager's office reduced its proposed garbage collection rate hike from $151 down to $138.50 annually over the next 7 years for single-family residences in unincorporated Brevard County.  


"Following the publishing of a maximum yearly rate of $151.00 per year, staff continued to review aspects of the rate structure that could be modified to further reduce assessment costs (i.e., reducing storm reserves, converting to a yearly graduated rate vs. the proposed fixed rate)," County staff wrote in an amended Agenda memo filed with the County Commission yesterday.  


"This assessment is derived by eliminating a $500K contingency that would pay for small storm events that do not qualify for Federal reimbursement.  Also, the $5.3M reserve for large storm events (i.e. 2004) is reduced to $1.5M which is hoped to be adequate to cover a single storm event.  This rate assumes a 3% CPI to the contractor (not the rate payer) each year, per contract."


County staff also recommended as a second option a gradual increase of the assessment rate over time:



Rate Scenario
FY2013
FY2014
FY2015
FY2016
FY2017
FY2018
FY2019
Option 1 Level
$138.50
$138.50
$138.50
$138.50
$138.50
$138.50
$138.50
Option 2 Gradual
$126.70
$129.50
$134.35
$138.40
$142.55
$146.90
$150.65










"Both options provide predictable rates for the upgraded cart service and the lowest rates of surrounding counties by a considerable amount," the memo continued.  "Reducing storm reserves may require that an emergency assessment be adopted to cover storm debris removal costs. Such an emergency assessment was required to pay for the 2004 storms."

In an article published last Wednesday, Brevard Times was the only news source to raise the issue of over $1 million of a proposed 10.54% increase to the Solid Waste Department's budget recommended by the County Manager that consists of an extra $338,000 in Recycling Operating Reserves and $755,000 in Disposal Operating Reserves when compared to last year. 

 
The proposed rate increase will be up for consideration by the Brevard County Board of Commissioners at 9 a.m. in Viera, Florida on August 20, 2013.  


County Commissioners will then have to consider what the appropriate amount of the overall increase should be, whether Brevard should be locked-in a rate for 7 years; and if locked-in, whether the rate will be fixed or gradually increased.