Council approves trash service rate increase

During Monday’s City Council meeting, council “reluctantly” voted 6-1 on a 5.4 percent increase in trash and recycling service rates within the City of Gilroy.

“We don’t want this to happen, but someone’s got to pay the bill,” Mayor Al Pinheiro said. 

Recology South Valley, the waste company that the city contracts with, asked the city to consider the 2012 rate increase in February. City staff reviewed the request and determined that the rate increase was acceptable and within the bounds of their contract. 

“This is a long-term agreement,” Councilman Perry Woodward said. “It was agreed on in like 1997. We get up here and it appears that we have some choice, but as long as they are within the agreement there’s nothing we can do.”

Woodward noted that voting against the rate increase would only cause Recology to sue the city for a contract violation. 

Woodward voted in favor for the rate increase, but added that it was a “reluctant yes.”

No one from the community showed up to the meeting to protest the rate increase. The city did receive 44 letters of complaint from Gilroy homeowners, which represents less than 1 percent of total homeowners in Gilroy, according to Kristi Abrams, Community Development Director. 

Recology attributed the proposed cost increase to the rising cost of fuel.

After July 1, when the new rates become effective, one 32-gallon residential bin will cost $28.25 monthly, up from $26.80.

Cat Tucker voted no on the fee increase, but made no comment on the topic. 

Also during Monday’s meeting:

Council voted 7-0 on a resolution prepared by the Gilroy Police Department that gives no leniency in prosecuting firearm crimes by felons. The resolution says that defendants charged with firearm violations in Gilroy receive “maximum sentencing allowable under law.”

Council voted 7-0 on a moratorium of some sign ordinance violations while the city takes the time to review the current sign ordinance through a subcommittee. Discussion on the formation of the subcommittee will continue at the May 21 meeting. 

Council voted 7-0 to scrap the old public dancing ordinance and adopt a new ordinance, which uses more specific language and loosens regulation for small and medium dance venues.

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