City councilmembers discussed a variety of topics during the regularly scheduled council meeting held telephonically the evening of Sept. 21, including the response to the city's request of a formal delay in implementation of SB-1383 Organics Recycling Program.
In September 2016, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law SB-1383 in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants such as organic waste.
According to City Manager Greg Garrett, this means all cities must implement a mandatory third recycle bin for organic material such as grass clippings, etc.
"We feel, like many others, that because of the current economic situation, COVID and all the things that are happening, that we want to delay the implementation of the third cart mainly because it's going to cost the residents more money," Garrett said in a telephone interview Sept. 21.
Garrett estimated the third recycling bin would almost double the amount residents pay for trash services.
"Plus the wear and tear on our city streets as now we would have a third waste management truck," Garrett said, emphasizing that Waste Management was in agreement with the city in asking for the delay and was "in no way pushing for a third cart."
However, CalRecycle, the regulatory authority, has declined the city's request for a delay and no further negotiations will be considered.
"We will see what happens between now and the date that it needs to be implemented because things change, but for now the state is not willing to listen to its constituents... They are not looking at it with a full-on scope. This is not one of those things where a one size fits all. They are trying to force a square peg into a round hole," Garrett said.
The implementation of the third recycling bin is currently set for sometime in 2022.
• Other agenda items included the purchase of four new 2021 Police Inceptor Vehicles to include the equipment uplift for emergency lighting, safety equipment, radios, decals, etc. The council approved and awarded the bid to Antelope Valley Ford in the amount of $149,294.28 and authorized the uplift in the amount of $99,794.94.
Garrett said the four police vehicles that will be replaced with the 2021 models will be auctioned at a later date.
• The council approved the agreement with Union Pacific Railroad regarding the utilization of the H Street water turnout to supply water to the town of Keene.
Garrett said the agreement with Union Pacific Railroad, responsible for the residential/business water, is necessary because Keene's water table is very low. The city is reimbursed for the water usage, and does not burden local residents with additional costs.
• The city received a federal grant approximately 12 to 18 months ago to repave Snyder Avenue from Tehachapi Boulevard to Valley Road under the Road Rehabilitation Project. The council adopted a resolution authorizing Mayor Susan Wiggins to sign the program supplemental agreement.
"We are really excited about this. We also received a second grant to put in curb, gutter and sidewalks on both sides. Snyder Avenue, in about a year, will be transformed to something really beautiful," Garrett said.