Re: “Utility rate hikes proposed” (TNT, 10-10).
The Tacoma City Council should be asking Tacoma Public Utilities director Gaines where in the rates increase proposal is the request by TPU to lower garbage rates?
Gaines proposes that garbage rates remain the same as now – $74 bimonthly through 2014 – but in the same article we are reminded that our garbage pickup goes from weekly to every two weeks beginning in March 2013.
Why has Gaines not recommended to council that garbage rates be cut in half to reflect the cut in half of garbage pickup? Will TPU be coming back to council with proposals to cut garbage collector employee hours? Will TPU be discussing with council the reduced garbage collection equipment costs since garbage trucks will be driven less?
With less garbage going to landfills, dumping fees will be less. Shouldn’t customer rates be reduced?
If the City Council does not insist on garbage-related rate cuts, then beginning in March 2013 Tacoma residents will in effect be paying 150 percent more for garbage-collection services. Where is this money being diverted to as it will no longer be needed to pay garbage-collection costs?
We need answers from Gaines and the City Council.