City Council to talk trash rates, community center

Santa Clarita City Hall is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. File photo
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In addition to another step forward on the long-awaited Canyon County Community Center, next week will also see a discussion that could have a significant impact for the business community.

Global changes to the recycling industry are prompting a Santa Clarita Valley waste-management company to ask for an “extraordinary” rate adjustment to deal with increases in their waste-disposal and recycling costs.

Commercial trash rate adjustment

Santa Clarita City Council members are expected to look into a request by Burrtec Waste Industries Inc., which provides commercial waste-management services to the city, for an “extraordinary rate adjustment” — an  increase to $2.29 per cubic yard.

If approved, the most common service level of 3-cubic-yard containers serviced once a week would increase $33.08 per month, or from $90.90 to $123.98 per month.

In a letter to the city, Burrtec cites the adjustment needed amid changes in the recycling market due to China’s National Sword Policy, the country’s latest regulation restricting foreign imports of recycled materials. China’s change in policy in response to an environmental problem created by all the foreign plastic it was accepting has had global implications, including massive widespread reductions in recycling programs across the country, according to a recent report by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce also wrote to the city expressing its support for the cost-adjustment request, saying that “although we are not proponents of increased costs or fees, we understand that these rate changes are necessary to cover the unanticipated basic cost of doing business.” 

Santa Clarita businesses would still pay some of the lowest commercial waste rates across the region when compared to the Los Angeles County average of $158.11, according to a city survey. 

Canyon Country Community Center

Santa Clarita City Council is also being asked to consider a $26 million construction contract at its upcoming meeting Tuesday, along with bus-stop improvements.

With work finished on the foundational aspects, such as the rough grading of the site and storm-drain improvements, the Canyon Country Community Center, located on Flying Tiger Drive at Sierra Highway, is set for phase two: building the actual community center. 

The City Council will look into awarding a $26.3 million contract to Los Angeles-based Icon West Inc. for this step in the overall project, according to the city staff report. It includes the construction of the building, parking lots, walkways, courtyards and plazas, play area, outdoor basketball court, landscaping and the gateway plaza at the corner of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road. 

The following phase of the project would include off-site street improvements, such as a right-turn lane for the westbound lanes of Soledad Canyon Road and widening a portion of Sierra Highway. 

Bus stop improvements

As part of its Santa Clarita 2020 plan, the city has selected 33 existing bus stops to improve based on survey responses and service requests from the public. 

The project consists of replacing damaged and worn bus shelters, benches and trash receptacles, as well as installing brighter, solar-powered, light-emitting-diode lighting “to improve safety,” the staff report read. 

To do so, the City Council would need to award a contract to Hawthorne-based LNI Custom Manufacturing Inc. for a total contract amount of $264,000.

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