Residents can expect 26-cent increase

Mexico residents can expect a 26-cent increase in their refuse rate, beginning April 1.
The Mexico City Council Monday night passed a resolution setting the monthly base rate for sanitation services at $10.70, with a fuel cost adjusted rate cap of $11.42 for the 12-month period beginning April 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014. The council passed the resolution with a 4-0 vote. Councilman Steve Nichols was absent.
In 2004, the city began a 10-year residential sanitation services contract with Dayne's Waste Disposal, Inc. The contract includes annual pricing adjustments that are to take place April 1 each year.
In addition to the sanitation contract, other operating expenses related to sanitation services provided by the city must be properly funded through user fees.
The anticipated expenses (less special pickup fees) for the City of Mexico Sanitation Department for the next 12 months beginning April 1 is $524,624 for residential services and $20,849 for household hazardous waste – combined equals $545,473.
The calculation for the monthly fee is as follows:
• $545,473 divided by 4,308 accounts equals $126.62 per year/account
• $126.62 divided by 12 months equals approximately $10.55 per month.
The $10.55 charge per month plus 15 cents for the landfill post-closure fund equals $10.70, representing the base rate for sanitation services. Last year's base rate was $10.44; equating to a base rate adjustment under 2.6 percent between the two 12-month cycles.
Deputy City Manager Roger Haynes said the new rate favors well with 15 other communities, and that the average sewage rate in those areas is $13.32. He said of those locations, Mexico has the broadest range of services.
In addition to a base rate for services, a fuel cost adjustment is made part of the monthly service cost – a part of the terms of the contract with Dayne's Waste Disposal.
In other news, the council approved an on-call engineering agreement with Shafer, Kline and Warren, Inc. The firm has the potential to provide services to any of the city departments, though it is primarily managed through the Public Works Department. The term of the agreement is one year, with up to three one-year extensions.
Requests for qualifications were sent out for on-call engineering services with 13 firms responding. Evaluations were completed and Shafer, Kline and Warren was chosen.
Council approved a contract with Shafer, Kline and Warren Inc., in 2009. Because there is no "real" renewal clause" in the existing contract, staff proceeded to re-advertise for on-call engineering services. Public Works Director/City Engineer Kensey Russell said the firm has worked successfully with the city in the past, and helped with both the Kentucky Road sidewalk project and the Morris Street sidewalk plan.
The council also approved an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation for funding the Morris Street sidewalk project. Last fall, staff applied for transportation enhancement funding for a project to construct a sidewalk and ancillary curb, and gutter and driveway entrances along Morris Street from Liberty to Monroe and along the south side of Monroe Street east to connect to the existing sidewalk. Shortly after the first of the year, the City of Mexico was awarded a $223,000 grant.
The city will be responsible for 21 percent of the project cost. If the project uses all of the available federal funding, the city's share would be $59,278.48. The 2012-2013 annual budget allows for these improvements. Council approved the ordinance 4-0.
During council comments, Mayor Ron Loesch asked if some beautification work could be done on Morris Street while the sidewalk project is being done. He suggested planting trees. Staff agreed to explore some possibilities. Councilman Greg Miller asked about the potholes, and how they are causing traffic issues. City workers are working on them now.