Recology, the solid waste haulers in Lincoln County, have not yet presented the County with a final draft of a new contract agreement, but they have done something rather generous.
County Commissioner Paul Mathews reported at the March 2 commission meeting Recology is going to let the current extension of the contract that expired last October, continue for another two years with no additional rate increases.
Mathews said he and Commissioner Katschke and District Attorney Daniel Hooge are waiting to have the drafts presented for approval.
He said recent telephone meetings he has held with Recology have helped to hash out a lot of details. Recology thought the details would take a while to work on, so was willing to grant the two-year extension.
Katschke also said recent negotiations with the San Francisco-based company have been going well.
When the five-year contract expired in October, Katschke said Recology had first proposed some tremendous cost increases for a new contract. “It would have cost our citizens $600-700 a year, instead of the $220 or less it is now.” Katschke said the County was not interested in such a deal and was going to look elsewhere.
Not wanting to loose the service, Recology has countered with “a two-year, no-cost increase until we can work out something,” he said. “We did have a slight 6-percent increase (Feb. 1), but that should be the last in the contract extension.”
Katschke said the fact that “Recology came to us and proposed it, I think it is a great idea. I thought is was very generous, but understanding on their part of what is the economic situation of our citizens. That’s what was impressive to me, they came to us, and offered something we can like.”
He added, “We are waiting for their attorneys to look it over the new proposals, and put in things they want, and then we’ll look it over. Who knows when that will be, could be several months down the road.”
County Treasurer Shawn Frehner said the contract discussions last fall had expected a large rate increase to happen if a new contract was not signed by Feb. 1. However, with the two-year extension, that is not going to happen.
In the meantime, the Treasurer’s office will continue to do the billing for Recology, which Frehner had said last December she did not want to continue doing. She noted, at the time, her office is doing the billing, without compensation, for a private company which she thinks they should be doing themselves. That will likely be one of the issues to be included in the new contract proposals.