CALEXICO — Proposals affecting the pocketbooks of Calexico residents and businesses were scheduled for the March 18 Calexico City Council meeting, including what amounts to raising trash rates and taxicab and bus fares.
The meeting occurred
after this newspaper’s deadline.
The meeting would not be
open to the public to enforce social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the
city announced March 16. Public comments were accepted in writing and by email.
The council was being
asked to approve a $1.88 increase per month in fees for residential customers collected
by Republic Services/Allied Waste for the operation of an organic waste
recycling program mandated by the state. The increase to residential customers
would be for the operation of the recycling program only.
At the same time, the
council was being asked to approve a $2.58 per month increase for commercial
customers. That includes an increase for the operation of the recycling program
and for an annual rate increase tied to the Consumer Price Index increase that
went into effect in January 2019. It was not factored into the monthly approved
rates when the city signed a new service contract with Republic/Allied in
The CPI increase, according
to the city’s contract with Republic/Allied, could cover residential services, but that increase
is not being recommended or applied here; only the added cost of the recycling
program, according to a report by City Manager David Dale.
The same level of rate
increases is being applied to the cities of Imperial and Brawley, which all
have agreements in place with Republic/Allied, Dale stated in the report.
If approved, the
increases would take place for March collection services and appear in the next
The changes in rates
amount to an annual increase of 9.26 percent for residential customers and 5
percent for commercial accounts.
An organic waste
recycling program, which was approved as part of Assembly Bill 1826 in 2014, is
meant to divert organic waste from landfills. Organic waste is defined as food
waste, green waste, landscaping and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste and
food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste.
Bus and Taxi Fares
In another matter
affecting local costs, a public hearing was scheduled on a resolution that
would raise the maximum taxicab and bus fares. The base rate for taxicab fares
would increase by $1.50 per ride and all bus fares would increase by 50 cents.
The proposed rate
increases are being recommended following a “fair market analysis” and a
comparison of fares in “similarly situated cities,” according to a report by
City Attorney Carlos Campos.
The increases are meant
to “account for the increase in operational costs borne by both taxicab transportation
service providers and bus operators,” Campos wrote in the report.
Under the proposal,
taxicab fares within the city would increase from a maximum of $5 a ride to
$6.50 per ride. Bus fares would increase to a maximum $1.75 for general fare,
$3.50 for round-trips and $1.50 for students and seniors. This affects private
bus providers and not I.V. Transit public bus service.
The council was also expected
to consider levying fees on businesses in the city’s Business Improvement
District in a two-step process.
In the first step, the
council was to consider approval of an annual report of the BID advisory board
and set an April 1 public hearing on levying the annual assessment on
businesses in the district.
The second step involved a
public hearing during the March 18 council meeting to determine if “there
exists a majority protest to levying the calendar year 2020 assessment” for the
At issue, ultimately, is
whether the city will continue to collect $100 through annual city business
licenses to fund BID. That affects about 445 businesses operating within the
district. The fees are used for “promotion, marketing and advertising of professional
and retail businesses located in the BID,” Campos reported.
The BID is divided into
two zones. Zone one includes the businesses from First to Fourth streets and
from Mary Avenue west to Paulin Avenue. Zone two is Paulin Avenue west to
Emerson Avenue (with Imperial Avenue located between) and from the border north
to Highway 98/Birch Avenue.
Ball Fields Fencing
In other business at the
March 18 meeting, the council was being asked to award a bid of $167,750 to
Crafters Fence Inc. of Santee for the Adrian C. Cordova baseball fields fencing
The project involves
building fences for three baseball fields in the undeveloped portion of the park.
The 15-acre Cordova Park is located on Clinton Avenue between Zapata Drive and
Meadows Drive in the eastern part of Calexico.
On March 5 the city
received three bids, with Crafters being the lowest bid. The others were Red
Hawk Services Inc. of Perris ($244,070) and George Mitchell Builders Inc. of
The fencing project is
already budgeted into the current 2019-20 fiscal year for the Capital
Improvement Program and is being paid for through Measure H bonds. Measure H is
a voter-approved half-cent sales tax.
Cordova Park is being
worked on in stages as funding becomes available.