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Talent asks for feedback on garbage-pickup rates

TALENT — The City Council will ask residents for input on a proposed increase for trash pickup rates at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, in the Talent Community Center, 206 E. Main St.

Recology Ashland Sanitary Service, which provides garbage and recycling service under a franchise agreement, has asked for its first rate increase in three years.

On June 6, the City Council, on a 4-3 vote, asked for the preparation of a resolution for an 11.2 percent increase for all customers to be considered at a meeting last week.

"The members of the council came back to me and said they wanted increased citizen involvement," said City Manager Tom Corrigan. Notice requirements didn't allow for a hearing at the Wednesday session.

Some council members have urged adoption of a split-rate increase, with residents paying less and commercial users paying more. Ashland, which also is served by Recology, adopted that strategy after research showed commercial customers had been receiving a break on charges while residents paid more. Talent has the same situation.

An 11.2 percent increase would raise home monthly fees for one can from $16.61 to $18.47 per month. Ashland in December increased residential rates by 7.5 percent, while commercial accounts averaged a 20 percent increase. Talent residents would pay $17.86 per month if their rate increased 7.5 percent.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.