Hood River Garbage looking to raise rates

Citing the rising costs of doing business, Hood River Garbage has asked the Hood River County Board of Commissioners to approve a rate increase for its county customers.

Hood River Garbage is proposing an average rate increase of 1.6 percent for its waste disposal services in order to “help offset rising operational costs and tip fees,” according to a letter from Erwin Swetnam, manager of the company.

If approved, the rates would increase from .4 percent to 1.9 percent depending on the service. Swetnam said the proposed increases align with the most recent consumer price index data available for the Portland/Salem area, which showed an increase in the price of goods and services by 1.9 percent.

Specifically, Swetnam said Hood River Garbage has experienced rising costs that “include, but are not limited to, health care and truck and equipment repair.”

County ordinances and the franchise agreement with Hood River Garbage require the company come before the county board with any rate increases. The last time rates went up was in December 2012, when county commissioners unanimously approved a 1.9-percent increase. Hood River Garbage typically requests a rate bump from the commission once a year.

A public hearing on the proposed rates will occur during the Monday, Dec. 16, regular meeting of the county commission, which will be held at 6 p.m. in the County Business Administration Building located at 601 State St. in Hood River. If approved, the rates will be effective Jan. 1.

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