Kilgore City Council members approved a rate increase for waste and recycling services provider Republic Services, Inc. at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The rate adjustment for the next 12 months of service is a 3.9 percent increase representing 42 cents per month per residential unit based on the current $10.87 per month charge, according to the meeting agenda.
City Manager Josh Selleck said the increase comes as part of the standing contract between the city and Republic Services, following a contract update which provided a year with no adjustment or increase.
“Two years ago, in 2017, we updated the contract and extended the term an additional three years or five years. At the time, part of our negotiation was that we asked them to give us a free year with no adjustment. That was the 2019 fiscal year. That was a really good year for a free year because CPI (Consumer Price Index) that year was 4 percent. The trash component of CPI was even higher. Last year was a great year to have a freebie,” Selleck said.
Selleck added the increase will apply to the 2020 fiscal year, per the terms of the contract.
“That said, this year, they came in and they started where last year left off and took the one-year increment that comes to 3.9 percent, which is what their contract allows them to implement and that’s our recommendation, to allow that to go forward,” he said.
Selleck said there had been discussion about the city shouldering some of the increase but it had been approved without that decision.
“I had a question previously about a year where we talked about absorbing a portion of the increase so they will research that. We talked about that during the contract in July but when it came time to approve the fee schedule in September, we actually did pass it through.”
Bill Firestone of Republic Services was on hand at the meeting to answer questions in place of Gene Keenon, Republic’s manager of government affairs, but council members voted to approve the measure as it was agreed upon in Republic’s contract.
“They’re really just exercising their contractual agreement,” Mayor Ronnie Spradlin said.