Granite Shoals City Council has approved a new contract with Waste Management that will see a 22.2 percent increase to the monthly bills for Granite Shoals residents. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
The Granite Shoals City Council approved a new contract with Waste Management that will result in a 22.2 percent increase in service fees for city residents. The vote came during the council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13, at City Hall, 2221 N. Philips Ranch Road.
Waste Management officials said the rate increase was due to recent inflation and increased operation costs.
The city’s three-year contract with Waste Management ends on Nov. 30. Under that contract, residents are paying $22.03 per month for weekly trash pickup. The 22.2 percent increase will add $4.89 to a bill for a total $26.92 a month.
Waste Management Public Sector Solutions representative Matt Myers presented the rate increase and fielded questions from the council. He cited inflation rates, increased diesel prices, and intense competition for drivers with commercial licenses as the core causes.
The current U.S. inflation rate sits at 8.3 percent for August 2022. The current average cost of diesel in the United States is $5.033 a gallon, compared to $2.97 in September 2019 during the first year of the current contract, Myers said. Increased competition with delivery services such as Amazon and FedEx has made it difficult and costly to retain and acquire qualified truck drivers.
“Five dollars, most people drop that for a coffee, but our fixed income seniors, they’re not getting any more money,” Councilor Phil Ort said. “I’m just shocked at 22.2 percent.”
While the council voted unanimously to approve the new contract, all present expressed concern over the price hike.
Interim City Manager Peggy Smith said she pursued bids from two other waste retrieval companies, but neither expressed interest in working with the city, leaving Waste Management as the only option.
“I’m not sure what options we really have,” Councilor Ron Munos said. “It’s a distasteful number to pay. I’m on a fixed income myself.”
Councilors Samantha Ortis and Aaron Garcia echoed Munos’ sentiments.
Garcia questioned whether Marble Falls would see a similar rate increase. Myers said it would once its current contract ends.
The language of the contract with Granite Shoals states that this is a one-time 22.2 percent increase, but adjustments can be made annually based on changes to the Consumer Price Index.
Smith noted that this same language was in the previous contract, but Waste Management never utilized the clause.