Supervisors OK first reading of landfill rate increases

Darren Schulz, left, and Rick Cooley of Carson City Public Works talk about landfill rate increases during the Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 2.

Darren Schulz, left, and Rick Cooley of Carson City Public Works talk about landfill rate increases during the Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 2.
Photo by Scott Neuffer.

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Tipping fee rates at the Carson City Landfill are slated to rise July 1, but the good news for Carson residents is the $10 minimum charge will remain the same.

On Thursday, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to accept a business impact statement, as required by the rate hike, and a first reading of a new ordinance setting new fees. They also voted 4-1 to approve interlocal agreements with Minden and Gardnerville that will set a lower rate for one year as the towns transition to the new rates.

Two readings are required for a new ordinance to be adopted. The rates will affect tipping fees at the landfill, not trash collection services at homes.

Supervisor Stacey Giomi voted against the new rates and interlocal agreements. After the hearing, he told the Appeal he wants the landfill to support itself but couldn’t get behind the ordinance as written.

“I want to make sure citizens are not overburdened,” Giomi told the Appeal.

Under the new ordinance, the rate for Carson residents disposing of solid waste will increase from $24 a ton to $30 a ton, with a $10 minimum charge remaining the same. The out-of-city fee for solid waste will increase from $58 a ton to $74 ton, with the minimum charge rising from $30 to $42.

Supplemental charges will also be added to some items. Appliances with refrigerants, for example, will cost $25 for Carson residents to dispose of and $50 for those out of city. Tire disposal will depend on tire size and range from $7 each to $30 each for residents or double the price for out-of-city customers.

According to the interlocal agreements approved for Minden and Gardnerville, the out-of-city rate for solid waste for those two customers will be $66 a ton for one year before the higher rates kick in.

Giomi was not the only supervisor concerned about the interlocal contracts. Supervisor Maurice White appreciated the cooperation with neighbors but added, “We also have to take care of Carson City.”

“I think they’re just protecting residents the same way we are,” added Mayor Lori Bagwell.

Erik Nilssen, Gardnerville town manager, spoke during public comment. Nilssen said Gardnerville residents are already facing an 8 percent increase in rates this summer. The phase-in agreement will give the town “a little time to adjust,” he said.

Also speaking during public comment were Tillio Olcese of Olcese Waste Services and Chris Pattison of Carson Demolition. Both said the new ordinance would make competing with Waste Management more difficult.

The new ordinance specifies any party in a franchise agreement with the city, such as Waste Management, will have locked-in rates at the landfill, including the current $24 a ton for solid waste and $24 a ton for construction and demolition materials. Supervisors amended the ordinance Thursday to stipulate the franchisee will pay out-of-city rates for waste coming in beyond the city.

Olcese said the out-of-city increase will be too high, specifically for construction and demolition materials.

“I’ll just take it to Fallon or Lockwood (regional landfill),” he said.

After the hearing, Pattison told the Appeal he understood locking in franchisee rates for residential curbside disposal but not for construction and demolition materials. Disposal for that category will increase from $24 a ton to $30 a ton come July, except for the franchisee. Pattison is worried the $6 difference will put other waste disposal companies at a disadvantage.

According to Public Works, the new rates will raise roughly $1 million a year for capital improvements and operations, including a new tipping facility. The 212-acre landfill has been run by Public Works since 2000 and hasn’t seen a rate change since 2011. The landfill has 56 percent of volume remaining and could last another 20 years, according to the city.

In other action:

• Supervisors unanimously approved a roughly $2 million federal grant that would be used for wildfire fuels reduction in western Carson City.

The grant stems from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act’s Hazardous Fuels Reduction and Wildfire Prevention program. It would be awarded through November 2028 and would require a local match of up to $30,000.

According to a staff report, the funds will go toward fuels thinning and controlled burns on 850 acres along the west side of Carson City.

Supervisors also unanimously approved a $147,290 federal grant administered by the same program that will assist homeowners with creating defensible space. Through the six-year initiative, trailers or dumpsters will be delivered to eligible homeowners and, once filled, picked up by the fire department.

White worried the specific grant program could cut out private contractors that offer similar services. Giomi, who oversaw the program as former fire chief, pointed out the trailers and dumpsters are already owned by the city. He said the program is a cheaper alternative for people creating defensible space.

Toward the end of the discussion on the second grant, supervisors agreed businesses and the city can work together to fill gaps in service and promote fire safety.

• Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution augmenting and amending the 2022-23 fiscal year budget in the amount of approximately $131 million.

Chief Financial Officer Sheri Russell-Benabou said the fiscal year ends June 30 while projects are ongoing. Unused budgets are carried over each year as well as unspent grant funding.

• Supervisors unanimously appointed two members to the Historic Resources Commission, each for a four-year term.

Lou Ann Speulda-Drews was reappointed and will serve as the commission’s professional in archaeology, anthropology, history or related field. Joan Wright was appointed to the position of property owner within the historic district.

“I have no particular agenda except to preserve the district in a way that benefits all citizens of Carson City,” Wright wrote in a letter to the board.

Supervisors also unanimously approved Charles “Andy” Polisso to the 911 Surcharge Advisory Committee for a partial term, Lee Kennedy to the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee for a full term, and Margaret Green-Wilson and Ashley Ackerman to RACC for partial terms.


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