The Special Utility Authority will continue discussion today of a proposed rate increase for trash collection.

Miami Public Works director Tim Wilson and solid waste supervisor Scotty Baldridge are proposing a near 12-percent increase in residential and commercial sanitation service as well as a $5 increase in the $10 flat-fee charge for additional pickups.

Wilson is proposing the increase be built over a three-year period with 3.9-percent incremental adjustments to be assessed annually beginning July 1.

The increase is a direct result of an increase in the city's cost of bringing solid waste to a landfill site.

“In the late summer of 2006, the city receive notice from Wheatland Landfill that they were increasing tipping fees by approximately 50 percent, Wilson wrote in his proposal to the utility authority.

Wilson said that, in 2006, the Special Utility Authority approved a recommendation for a slight increase in tipping fees on waste disposal at the city's transfer station. The increase was intended to help offset the proposed tipping fee increase.

“After reviewing the financial data on revenue vs. budgetary expenditures, the administration has concluded that a slight increase in rates is needed over the next three years to offset the projected increases associated with doing business.

Proposed rate adjustments for residential service would raise the current $12.50 residential trash service fee as follows:

July 1, 2007 - Increase to $12.98.

July 1, 2008 - Increase to $13.49.

July 1, 2009 - Increase to $14.02.

Wilson and Baldridge have also presented five options for addressing the anticipated increase in solid waste expenses, citing the proposed rate increases as a “short-term solution to a “long-term problem.

“With the potential growth and expansion of our city, in the long term, we need to look at the various options for waste disposal, Wilson wrote. “Area landfill sites are starting to reach capacity, which means we will need to transport farther in the future.

Options proposed are as follows:

Continue current operation above with the 3.9-percent increase, assuming that landfill rates do not increase.

Investigate the possibility of incinerating waste. Install two incineration units and burn trash and explore an option of burning medical waste and possibly converting steam to generate electricity to use in the city system or sell to the Grand River Dam Authority.

Consider contracting a hauling service to truck waste to a landfill.

Consider entering into long-term contract with transporting trash to a landfill in Bartlesville and receive financial contribution in return.

Investigate selling disposal side of operation and strictly focus efforts on expanding collection service.

The utility authority will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the city council chambers to discuss the matter.