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Morro Bay Garbage Service proposes 38 percent rate increase 

The Morro Bay Garbage Service and City Council will move forward with the next steps of a proposed rate increase following information presented at the Aug. 8 meeting.

But some residents are concerned the rate increase for garbage pickup will prove to be too costly for the people it serves.

"Please do not approve higher rates for our garbage collection," Morro Bay resident Patti Anderson said. "Everything has gone up and this will just add to the hardship of those who are struggling."

Morro Bay Garbage Service (MBGS) provides solid waste, recycling, organic material collection, processing, and disposal services for some Morro Bay residents.

According to the staff report, the proposed increase stems from concerns over a loss of revenue based on the initial agreement the provider had with the city.

click to enlarge COST CONCERNS Residents across Morro Bay are concerned a proposed waste services rate increase may be too unaffordable. - SCREENSHOT OBTAINED VIA YOUTUBE
  • Screenshot Obtained Via Youtube
  • COST CONCERNS Residents across Morro Bay are concerned a proposed waste services rate increase may be too unaffordable.

"The initial rate application submitted in December [2022] showed a $956,532 shortfall projection in revenue needed to provide the residential and commercial ... services between the city and MBGS," the staff report read. "To cover this shortfall, MBGS originally proposed a 30.62 percent increase."

Since that initial proposal, the MBGS has settled on a more specific increase of 20 percent beginning in October with an additional 18 percent increase after six months, leading to 38 percent total increase.

Because the increase is so significant, the MBGS and City Council will have to provide informational pamphlets to residents in the affected area before the decision goes to public hearing.

"The next step to the rate increase process is the preparation of Proposition 218 notice for mail out to property owners and account holders in the city," the staff report read. "MBGS customers and property owners will have the opportunity to submit a written protest to the city clerk before the close of the public hearing, which will be held at the City Council's Oct. 10 meeting."

Ultimately, if 50 percent of affected residents submit that written protest, the increase can not be adopted and the process would have to begin again.

In addition, this change in the proposed rate—as well as concerns over why the revenue loss wasn't anticipated in the initial agreement but included in the city's budget—has already led some residents like Anderson and Betty Winholtz to express their concerns.

"Why is the increase in proposed fees already in the city's budget?" Winholtz said via public comment. "Did the city know ahead of time that the garbage company was going to propose this increase so soon?" Δ

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