Goleta residents could see their rate fees for garbage collection increase by 4% as soon as this summer.
The Goleta City Council voted unanimously April 6 to approve the increase for trash pickup. Every year rates are reviewed through the Proposition 218 process, to determine whether to change them.
If the fee increase is approved through the Prop 218 process, Goleta residents with a standard 65-gallon waste bin will pay an extra $2.08, totalling $37.32 each month.
Residents with a 35-gallon bin will pay an extra $1.86 per month and those with a 95-gallon bin will pay an extra $2.40 per month.
The Environmental Services Division for the City of Goleta is recommending the rate increase because of pandemic-related costs, budget shortfalls and new regulations and mandates that require extra funding.
Melissa Nelson is an environmental services coordinator for the city’s Public Works Department.
She said all of these costs create a revenue gap of about $460,000 a year.
Nelson said the Environmental Services Division is working to reduce costs internally but the fee increase is still necessary to keep services functioning and compliant.
“We’ve done a lot to be more efficient, and we’ll continue to take steps to be more efficient as much as possible and have an ongoing evaluation of our budget,” Nelson said. “However, funding is still needed.”
Goleta City Council Member Roger Aceves said unfunded state mandates are a major reason residents may see this increase. But he said the rates will still be affordable.
“The nice thing that the public needs to know is that, even with this increase, you’re paying less than the other jurisdictions,” Aceves said.
A Prop 218 public hearing is scheduled for June 1. If voters approve the rate increase, it will go into effect July 2.