City proposing franchise fees for commercial solid waste services in Amarillo

City proposing franchise fees for commercial solid waste services in Amarillo
Amarillo's City Council discussing proposed solid waste ordinance amendments during a work session on April 24, 2018. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo is proposing new franchise fees to its solid waste program that they anticipate will improve the quality of city services that Amarillo citizens use on a daily basis.

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The new commercial fees would not increase costs for the average Amarillo resident, but instead, increase revenue to improve a variety of the city's solid waste programs like the compost facility at the landfill, big and bulky pick-up and more.

It's a project months in the making, going from community meetings to the city council's desk.

The city is proposing franchise fees to its solid waste services, which would serve as agreements between commercial customers and the city.

"With the proposed changes as we're looking at it for franchise fees, this would open up the market for the private sector and the commercial companies to have more opportunities to get better prices on the commercial side of the business," said Raymond Lee, Public Works Director for the City of Amarillo.

The city states that while Amarillo is an open market for waste haulers, the franchise fees could regulate those commercial services in the city.

The contracts between the city and companies would offer billing discounts for some costly commercial services like that of the city's compost facility.

The city says the proposed franchise fee contracts would also provide extra revenue residential services like alley cleanup programs to big and bulky pick-up for residents.

"From these new changes, they should see an enhance of service delivery from the standpoint of residential side if we go ahead and proceed with franchise fees that would bring additional revenue to our solid waste department that we can use those services and put back into our residential collection," said Lee.

The city council says more data is needed on the potential franchise fees before they decide whether to amend the current ordinances

"Some sort of perform to compare the expenses we're getting rid of versus what our costs are going to be and what our at least projected revenues can be," said councilmember Elaine Hays. "We definitely understand it's an estimate."

City council is expected to revisit the ordinances in two weeks before deciding on making any of the potential changes official.

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