Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Continuing to fight county trash plan a mistake, Oakville reader contends

With any luck, the opponents of St. Louis County's plan to establish trash districts will give it a rest now that the Missouri Supreme Court has dismissed the lawsuit brought by three of the trash haulers adversely affected by the plan.

Keeping watch on the program to make sure it continues to benefit the citizens and is operated in an aboveboard manner is one thing, but continuing to fight it is a mistake in my opinion. As a result of the unsuccessful challenge, which caused the low bidder, Aspen Waste Systems, to withdraw its low bids to service the 6th and 8th trash districts, customers will have to pay more under the plan than they otherwise would have.

However, based on my experience, I suspect that most customers would probably be paying a lot more than if the plan did not exist.

I am currently served by Allied Waste and have seen my bill rise steadily over the past year, primarily due to an ever-increasing surcharge titled "Total fuel/environmental recovery fee."My first bill from Allied for the county-required minimum level of service, covering April 1 through June 30, was $18.54 per month. My second — and final — bill, covering service from July 1 through Sept. 30, was $19.26 per month — an increase of 3.86 percent.

Beginning Oct. 1, I will be served by Veolia under the county plan and have been advised that I will pay a fixed charge of $12.40 per month for the first year of service, $12.83 per month for the second year and $13.28 per month for the third year.This means I will see an immediate 35.6-percent price decrease and annual increases of 3.46 percent and 3.5 percent thereafter. And if I were over 65, I would qualify for an additional 10-percent discount.

I've switched haulers in the past in order to lower my cost, but as an individual I doubt that any of the haulers would have offered me the deal I will get under the county trash district plan, especially at fixed rates for three years. It's too bad that some haulers were not able to compete, but that's because competitive bidding is not like a T-ball game for the little tykes where everyone wins.

I consider myself an independent voter and am therefore willing to give credit where credit is due. I have to say that the then-Republican-controlled County Council knew what it was doing after all when it voted to implement the plan.

In the face of the vocal opposition from his constituents, I can understand Mr. Campisi's decision to repudiate his vote in favor of the plan. However, I was surprised at his willingness to blame his fellow Republican, Mr. Mange, for misleading him about the plan, which presumably would not have been possible had Mr. Campisi done the work required to fully understand the plan before voting in the first place.
. . . . Gerald M. Kulage - Oakville

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:30 PM

    All you basically talked about was "a lower price" nothing was said about the "quality of service".
    You haven't started service with your new hauler yet!
    Keep in mind that "You get what you pay for".