City Still Plans to Look into Athens Contract

City Council raises questions about waste hauler’s contract as it approves a rate increase.

Written by TAYLOR EVANKO / Published May 20, 2011

The City Council on Tuesday approved a request to increase trash collection fees as it continued to raise questions about the 30-year evergreen contract.

Athens Services, Temple City’s exclusive trash hauler, asked for a 1.9 percent increase. The rate adjustment increases fees from $27.74 to $28.86.

One Temple City resident spoke against the fees during the June 29, 2010 special city council meeting.

Councilman Vincent Yu, a member of the Athens ad hoc committee, asked staff whether the figures that justified the increase were independently confirmed by the City. Financial Services Monica Molina answered yes.

The City Attorney also indicated that the increase was a “contractual obligation,” Yu also said.

Yu, who was first elected to the City Council in March 2009, suggested that the City consider an audit.

The mayor concurred with his idea.

“When you talk about audits, I don’t mind seeing one myself,” Mayor Fernando Vizcarra echoed.

Tom Chavez, the other city councilmember on the ad hoc committee, reiterated that he and Yu still intend to tackle the 30-year evergreen contract issue.

“I don’t want anyone out there to feel that we’re done with this issue,” he said. “We are not.”

Chavez noted that the City Council is limited by a contract approved by a previous City Council.

The current Athens Services contract renews itself every year. In other words, the contract will expire in 2040 this year. Next year, the contract will expire in 2041.

In response to residents’ complaints, in August 2009, the City Council created an ad hoc committee to examine waste collection services in Temple City.

Earlier this year, the City Council and Athens Services jointly authored a survey to gauge the opinions of residents on trash collection services. The survey gave residents four options to select from and was released in April.

In May, the City announced that a majority of residents favored maintaining the status quo. Forty-three percent of Temple City’s households participated.

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