Lompoc residents will see a 3.6% increase in litter rate from July 1 | Local News

Throwing out the trash will cost Lompoc solid waste customers a bit more on July 1, and future hikes may be imminent.

At their Tuesday meeting, members of the Lompoc City Council voted unanimously to reinstate a 3.6% rate increase originally enacted in 2014. The rate hike was expected to raise $250,000 in additional funds per year, but was postponed to 2018.

Today, Lompoc’s solid waste management system is in a deficit of about $1 million, said Christie Donnelly, director of management services at Lompoc.

The immediate increase does not begin to meet a $5 million stormwater drainage and treatment upgrade required by state law. It also does not meet the service needs identified since the adoption of the rate increase in 2014.

The upcoming hike also does not cover expected costs due to California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets (SB 1383) requiring everyone to divert their organics from garbage and some entities that supply food to donate the surplus to feed the people.

To respond immediately to funding for the landfill stormwater project, council accepted city staff’s recommendation to approve an interim, in-house loan until a bond can be issued within three years. The landfill will borrow up to $5 million from the city’s electric utility fund, which is to be repaid, plus nearly 0.6% interest per year, as soon as the bond funds are disbursed.

Solid Waste Superintendent Keith Quinlan said the landfill’s existing structures are not adequate to handle 100-year storm events, as required by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. The project would divert runoff from the watershed above the landfill around the facility so that it never comes into contact with the landfill. It would also improve the treatment system required before water can be discharged from the property.

He added that the bidding documents for the project are being finalized and the council is expected to review bidders for the final award of the project in the near future.

Tuesday’s vote also authorized a full study of service costs and tariffs. Staff will report on these findings this summer.

In other waste-related news, the council voted 4-1 to enter into a partnership with Santa Barbara County and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Santa Barbara and Solvang to share the cost of developing and implementing implementation of the Santa Barbara County Regional Food Recovery Plan SB 1383.

Councilor Gilda Cordova cast the dissenting vote.

“I just don’t see the need for the investment if we could literally handle it internally ourselves,” Cordova said.

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City staff said the partnership would allow the city to split the financial burden of developing and implementing programs to meet state demands. The estimated total cost of the shared program is $86,634, with Lompoc assuming $11,275 based on its population.

Cordova was particularly hesitant to spend taxpayer money on undefined projects or partnerships after staff were unable to specifically define how the funding would be used, or whether the edible food collected would stay in the city or would be distributed elsewhere.

“I have no problem with the county. What I have a problem with is: I don’t care if it’s for a dollar that we collaborate with an agency or a region with which; if we don’t have answers as to what we’re signing up for, even a dollar is too much for me,” she said.

She asked that the matter be deferred until the staff could come back with more definitive details, but her motion died for lack of a second. Councilor Jeremy Ball moved that the staff recommendations be adopted. Mayor Jenelle Osborne seconded the motion, which ultimately passed.

“I don’t see the reason for the investment, and I don’t see the staff knowing the elements inside out, so I’d like to see them come back with more answers,” Cordova said.

The town hall of Lompoc also has:

— Passed an ordinance allowing the City to limit public access to City-owned and controlled properties at all times;

— As required by Assembly Bill 481, adoption of the Lompoc Police Department Military Equipment Use Policy identifying certain law enforcement equipment as “military equipment” and authorizing their use. use. Existing inventory includes: modernized tools, aerial drones, all-terrain vehicles, armored tracked vehicle for explosive ordnance disposal, BATT-X armored rescue vehicle, non-portable rams, flimsy shotgun, assault weapons, flash grenades, explosive breaching tools, tear gas, command and control vehicles, and rubber projectile and bean bag launchers;

— Filing, for future review and consideration, of the 2020 and 2021 Annual Reports of the Lompoc Tourism Improvement District by Visit Lompoc Inc;

— Authorized the purchase of $400,000 for a washing trailer for medium voltage electrical insulators and switches for use by the city’s public services department;

— Approval of a memorandum of understanding for water and wastewater services related to the 476-unit Burton Ranch development proposed by the Towbes group. The agreement allows the project to explore, at the developers’ expense, the technical and financial viability of a proposal in which the Mission Hills Community Services District can provide water and sanitation services to the project, the district subcontractor with the city to treat wastewater.