Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Trash rates increase; first time since 1997

January 24, 2008

For the first time in 10 years, Lansing residents will see an increase in the rate they pay for trash removal.

In a regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 17, Lansing City Council members unanimously approved rates, which will jump from the $6.50 per month they've been since 1997 for most residents to $13.79.

Seniors age 65 and over, who account for roughly 12 percent of the city's population, will see a monthly increase from $3.63 to $10.79.

In a presentation to the council, Lansing finance director Rana Lacer said, "Obviously, over the last 10 years, there have been : major changes in the cost to do business."

She pointed to increased fuel costs as reasoning for Deffenbaugh Disposal Inc.'s 87 percent higher bid for 2008, and said the city's Solid Waste Fund could not withstand the increase without raising residents' rates.

Comparing the increased bid to the Consumer Price Index, the Fuel and Utilities Index and the Water, Sewer and Waste Collection Services Index in the U.S., Lacer concluded the proposal submitted by Deffenbaugh was "fair and reasonable."

Council members acknowledged future rate increases would be negotiated based on the Consumer Price Index, but Lacer said she didn't anticipate further changes for three to five years.

The new rates are lower than in Tonganoxie ($15 a month) and the city of Leavenworth ($14.10 a month) but are higher than in Basehor ($9.70 a month) or Atchison ($9 a month).

Along with the rate adjustment for trash pickup, the council voted, 4-2, with Janette Labbee-Holdeman and Andi Pawlowski opposed (Billy Blackwell and Harland Russell were not present), to increase rates for an optional, curbside recycling program from $4.25 to $4.60 for most residents and from $2.12 to $3.60 for seniors.

A motion to mandate the use of uniform trash bins at $2 per bin died for lack of a second.

In other business Thursday, the council:

¢ Unanimously approved a bid from Easton-based Wagner Construction to reconstruct the Lansing Historical Museum, damaged by fire in summer 2007, at a cost of $99,012. In a prepared document packet for the meeting, city staff confirmed that net insurance proceeds of $45,811 would go toward the project and noted the remaining $53,201 would be paid from the the city's Equipment Reserve Fund.

A bid of $5,000 from Wagner Construction for adding an arbor outside the museum was also approved.

¢ Voted, 6-0, in favor of awarding a bid submitted by Leavenworth-based Kansas Media One for the publication of the city's quarterly newsletter "Lansing Connection" at $1,990 for each quarter.

¢ Saw 4th Ward Council member Tom Smith presented with a plaque commemorating his nine years of service on the city Planning Commission.

¢ Approved, 6-0, a cereal malt beverage license for Shree Nivas Inc. doing business as Finish Line, 506 N. Main St.

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