Trash talk

City Council approves funding to explore waste-franchising

After a somewhat lengthy discussion during its regular meeting Tuesday evening (Dec. 17), the Chico City Council voted in a split decision to authorize supplemental funding of up to $99,000 for a consultant to work on a number of tasks as part of an evaluation of the city entering into a waste-hauling franchise agreement.

A franchise agreement is being explored by the city as a means of generating much-needed revenue. However, as members of the public pointed out, the fees paid to the city by a potential franchisee—or franchisees—will be passed along to the public in the form of rate increases.

“It is a fee that will be imposed upon every single person in the city who has trash collection,” said Steve Depa, president of the North Valley Property Owners Association.

Councilmen Mark Sorensen and Sean Morgan, whose objections largely stemmed from the cost of the consultant, joined Councilwoman Ann Schwab in casting the dissenting votes.