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Emmitsburg council cans trash fee increase

(1/6) Emmitsburg trash customers will not be subjected to a requested fee increase due to fuel costs.

The town council decided by general consensus Monday evening to decline granting the town's trash hauling contractor a rate increase to compensate the company for previous increases in the cost of diesel fuel.

Bob Clark, president of Key Sanitation, Frederick City, the firm that provides trash pickup service to Emmitsburg, requested in June that the council consider granting the company a rate increase due to rising fuel costs.

"As per our (June 9) phone conversation...I am enclosing the following information on my request for a 15 percent fuel adjustment increase," Clark wrote previously.

Provision for such an increase is not covered in the existing contract between the town and the hauler.

A five percent annual rate increase, however, is built into the contract.

Clark was asking for an increase over and above the guaranteed five percent.

Clark noted that, when he submitted the request for the fuel cost increase, "the current price per gallon is $4.81."

The national average for diesel going into this week is $2.291, down .036 from last week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Clark noted in June that diesel was selling for $2.40 per gallon in July 2006 when the current contract with the town was established.

Resident Patrick A. Joy stated that Clark's request was made when fuels were experiencing an "unprecedented increase."

"In June, this (request) would have been the appropriate thing to do," Joy told the council. "Right now (with current prices), we should be almost at the point where you entered into the contract."

Mayor James E. Hoover said, "The request (made by Clark) has almost fixed itself. Had this been looked at (by the council) in May, June or July, I was in favor (given the prevailing fuel costs during that period)."

The council agreed that an increase in the trash fees to offset diesel fuel costs was no longer a necessity, and no motion was made to grant the request.

Mayor Hoover noted that, with diesel below the rate it was when the contract was entered into, that the fuel costs have probably by now averaged out for Key Sanitation over the term of the contract.

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