The proposed increase in the trash-service fees paid to Riverside County were approved at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting June 19. This is only for residential service.

The current annual fee of $116.88 would be increased $19.80 annually through July 1, 2021, with a fifth increase of $19.92 on July 1, 2022. The most-recent increase in the fee occurred in July 2010.

This July, the fee will be $136.68 until July 1, 2019. By July 2022, the trash-service fee will be $216 annually.

Jeff Johnson, deputy director of the county’s Environmental Health Department, made a brief presentation to the supervisors before the public comments. He said if the normal consumer-price index had been applied to the fee, it would now approach about $170 annually.

As part of the fee increase, the department has added several services. An annual clean-up week will be offered at the Idyllwild and Anza sites.

At Idyllwild, a household hazardous waste center will be established to accept antifreeze, batteries, oil and paint. It will be open once a month. Also, the Idyllwild site will have two free tire disposal days each year.

The fourth new service will be added trash service at designated snow-play areas.

The county mailed 6,400 letters notifying property owners of the proposed fee increase. Fifty-five people responded with protests opposing the increase, according to Johnson. Only two residents, both from Poppet Flats, spoke at the public hearing.

Both felt the added services would benefit Idyllwild residents and offer little help to Twin Pines and Poppet Flats.

Supervisor Chuck Washington, whose 3rd District includes most of the property affected, recognized the costs and sympathized with the residents.

“But the franchisee has fixed costs,” he noted, and then made the motion to approve the new fees.

Supervisor Marion Ashely, whose 5th District does include some of the northern neighborhoods, was also torn by the choice. He recommended that CRR, the hauler, hold some community meetings to explain the need for the fee increase.

As he seconded the motion, Ashley said, “You can’t make the operator lose money to provide a public service.”

The board unanimously approved the increase, which is effective July 1. It will be applied to residential property taxes beginning with fiscal year 2018-19.

Franchise Area 8 includes Twin Pines and Poppet Flats in the north, continues south encompassing Pine Cove, Idyllwild and Mountain Center. The southern neighborhoods include Aguanga, Anza and Pinyon. Within the area are three drop-off sites — Idyllwild, Anza and Pinyon — which accept trash five days per week.

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