Garbage bills are likely going up in Westwood after city officials on Thursday moved toward approving a new trash collection contract.
The City Council voted unanimously to award Waste Corporation of America a three-year agreement, beginning in 2018. The city currently uses Town & Country Disposal, which Waste Corporation purchased in 2015.
The decision is not yet final as Westwood teamed up with the cities of Roeland Park and Fairway on the bidding process to provide a larger, and therefore more attractive, contract to potential haulers. Officials in those two cities have yet to decide whether to go with Waste Corporation or one of three other, higher-priced contractors.
Under the Waste Corporation contract, homeowners would pay $15.17 a month for trash collection, recycling and yard waste pickup, an almost 22 percent increase over the current rate of $12.48 a month.
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However, the cost, which residents pay as part of their annual property tax assessment, is still cheaper than the $16.66 homeowners paid in 2012 before the city signed the current contract with Town & Country.
“Looking at the numbers, my guess is that we’re seeing an increase because over the last few years some of the providers just lost their shirts on that deal to some degree, and we’re getting back to where we should have been,” said Councilman David Waters.
Fred Sherman, the city’s chief administrative officer, said Fairway and Roeland Park are scheduled to make their decision on the trash contract by the end of June. He said that if Fairway and Roeland Park were to choose one of the other haulers, Westwood would have to either go along with their choice — and pay even higher prices — or opt out and try to contract trash service on its own.
“Hopefully there’s a consensus,” Sherman said.
He said residents would not see any change in the frequency of pickups for trash, yard waste or recycling under the Waste Corporation contract.
However, he said, the contract does allow the city to levy fines on the company for poor service, such as missed trash pickups. The current contract does not allow such penalties.
In other business:
▪ The council voted 4-1 to reschedule a public hearing for June 8 to consider creating a 22-year, 0.9 percent Capital Improvement District sales tax on the Woodside Health and Tennis Club, part of the Woodside Village development south of 47th Street. Money from the district, also called a CID, would pay for development costs for the Woodside Village’s second phase.
The public hearing was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but City Attorney Ryan Denk said a required public notice for the hearing wasn’t published on schedule so the city needed to delay the hearing by a month.
Bowen, who has opposed providing financial incentives for the Woodside Village project, voted against scheduling the hearing.
▪ The council voted unanimously to pay Bryde Sports $10,400 to resurface the tennis courts and playground tunnel at Joe D. Dennis Park.
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