HARKER HEIGHTS — Waste Management, Inc., which handles the curbside garbage pick-up services in Harker Heights, asked the Harker Heights City Council to consider a 10% increase in fees for services during a council workshop meeting on Tuesday.
Paul Daugereau, public sector solutions manager for Waste Management of Texas, outlined for council members the key factors that led to a decision to seek a rate adjustment.
Under the current contractual agreement, a 5% rate increase is planned to go into effect March 1; however, Daugereau said the 10% increase is needed due to higher costs.
Daugereau cited inflation, the difficulty finding and securing competent employees, fuel costs and other reasons. Rates have been affected by increases in disposal costs, in landfill fees, recycling, changes in the laws, regulations, rules or ordinances and some enforcement costs.
Under the current rate, Heights residents pay $13.97 per home each month for residential trash collection. The contractual 5% rate increase would be $14.67 per per month. A 10% increase would raise the current rate to $15.36 per home every month.
“Even with the requested rate increase, Harker Heights residents are paying the lowest rate for any area municipality that I service,” Daugereau said. “Rates are still below the $20 mark and that is competitively low in the state of Texas.”
In other business at Tuesday’s workshop, Byron Landor, CEO of ClearSky Rehabilitation Hospital of Harker Heights discussed the progress on construction of the new building, located next to Seton Medical Center.
“I have had talks with administrators at Seton and I hope to have a close working relationship with other area hospitals soon,” Landor said.
“We are in the process of recruiting for the administrative level and have had lots of positive response,” Landor said. “We are in discussions with local medical professionals to apprise them of the resources that will be available to them, as well.”
He estimated the timeline for the completion of construction to be the end of April with furniture and equipment scheduled to come in during May.
“We are scheduled to open June 26, if everything goes well,” Landor said. “And we should be ready for our first patients by July with 30 patient beds available, if needed.”
Council members asked about the number of employees that would be hired when the facility was fully staffed, to which Landor estimated at between 100 and 125.
Planning and Development Director Kristina Ramirez addressed the council on a suggestion by the city attorney to amend a section of city ordinances regarding vehicle parking from land use to transportation. The council will have a recommendation before them at the next city council meeting.
Police Chief Betiale Hawkins distributed the 2022 Report on Racial Profiling Data to council for review.
“This report is all-inclusive and has information that may be helpful in understanding the statistics,” Betiale said. Included in the report was a history of the laws prohibiting racial profiling and a review of Texas Law. Betiale suggested council members review the historical overview on the response of the HHPD to a newly implemented state law and asked for questions from the table.
Before closing his remarks, Betiale asked council members to refer to the last page of the report where the statistics regarding the number of complaints of racial profiling were totaled.
“There were zero complaints from some 3,572 contacts made by our police officers with the public, and not one complaint,” Betiale said.
Makes you wonder if those new trucks and new bins they gave to everyone a year or two ago worth it now 🤔 Didn't they also cut jobs from 2 to 3 guys per truck to 1?
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