Taking steps to raising garbage rates, the City of Turlock mailed out a notification to tenants and property owners receiving solid waste services to inform them of the garbage collection costs and a proposed rate hike of just over 9 percent.
Turlock residents and property owners will now have the opportunity to protest the increase if they so choose, by filling out and returning a mail ballot.
On several occasions, and most recently at the July 28 Turlock City Council meeting, Councilman Bill DeHart has expressed concern of an uninformed citizenship, even if government is following public notification laws and protocol.
“I’d like to see us somehow reinforce our efforts to ensure our populous are not just informed, but that they understand completely the ramifications of not responding,” said Councilman DeHart. “Silence in this particular case is consent.”
If the majority of those qualified to submit a ballot – 50 percent plus one – protest the rate hike, it cannot be implemented.
Turlock Scavenger is proposing a one-time increase that will last for the next five years, rather than a series of small rate increases over five years.
The just over 9 percent rate increase for the common residential customers would amount to $2.30 (9.16 percent) for customers with 32 gallon grey, 68 gallon blue, and 95 gallon green bins; $3.10 (9.37 percent) for customers with 64 gallon grey, 68 gallon blue, and 95 gallon green bins; and $3.60 (9.45 percent) for customers with 96 gallon grey, 68 gallon blue, and 95 gallon green bins.
Currently, solid waste customers pay $25.10, $33.10, and $38.10 per month, respectively, depending on the service. This would be a one-time increase for residential customers and would be set for the next five years.
If the rate increase is approved, it will be the first for the trash collection provided by Turlock Scavenger since 2003, about 12 years ago.
Courtesy of Proposition 218, all affected tenants and property owners in Turlock will be given the chance to express their opinion about the possibility of an increased garbage rate.
The ballot explains that an owner or tenant of property that receives City of Turlock solid waste service may protest the proposed increased service charges by submitting a written protest by mail or in person to the City of Turlock, City Clerk, 156 S. Broadway, Ste. 230, Turlock, CA 95380. This means that all written protests must be received (not postmarked) by the City before or up to the conclusion of the public hearing. The ballot also notes that any protest submitted by email or other electronic means will not be accepted.
Also, according to the ballot, “Each protest must (1) be in writing;
(2) state opposition to the proposed solid rate increase; (3) provide the location of the identified parcel (by assessor's parcel number or street address); and (4) include the original signature of the record owner or customer of record submitting the protest.”
Only one written protest per customer will be counted toward the protest.
On Oct. 13, the Turlock City Council will hold a public hearing where it will accept the counting of the mail ballots and vote on the rate hike. If the majority protest is not reached, Council will vote to either approve or deny the rate hike.
The Public Hearing will be held on Oct. 13 at 6p.m. at Turlock City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.