The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 11, 2014

Do not privatize our solid waste service

The Clinton Herald

---- — The Clinton City Council is once again considering selling our solid waste department.

They claim they are doing this to save money, but they are not being completely honest. Moving from public to private services merely shifts costs from the city to taxpayers.

Right now, Clinton residents pay $15.89 for weekly trash pickup by the city. This does not reflect the actual cost over $18, a major portion of which is due to nearly $2 million the city spent to purchase new equipment.

The difference of cost versus charges is subsidized by the city and this has resulted in the deficit that they are using to justify this move to privatization.

Paying the actual cost may sound like a lot but it is less then $25.79 or $20 that two private haulers have said they would charge. There may be cheaper venders somewhere but will they do the large-item pickup and recycling we are provided now for that rate?

If the city does move to a private vender we could be forced into an eight-year contract. We have seen before. This could start at a low rate then increase very quickly once they have all the equipment and the city has none. We have seen what has happened to our water rates with Iowa American in charge of our water.

Contact your council person and tell them no, do not put us in another hole. Do not privatize.

Charles SmithClinton