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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 7:20 pm

Council increases rates at city's Biosolids Facility

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

In a unanimous vote tonight, the Fort Wayne City Council for the first time since 1999 approved an increase in rates for residents and businesses using the city's Biosolids Handling Facility on Lake Avenue.

Rates for residential and commercial users will increase to $20 per ton, John Clark, City Utilities' deputy director for operations, told the council. The existing fees were $1 per vehicle load up to 260 pounds and $17 per ton for loads 261 pounds or more.

The new rate is a flat fee for each ton but will be pro-rated based on the actual weight of the material being delivered, Clark said.

Most typical residential customers dropping off less than 260 pounds will see a maximum increase of $1.60 per load, he said.

The changes are necessary, Clark said, to keep up with operating costs that have increased in the past 20 years. Tuesday's approval was tied to a three-year contract renewal with Fox Contractors Corporation, which operates the facility. 

"With the costs of our fuel going up, labor costs and so forth, we felt it was time, with this new contract, to raise it," Clark said. "This helps us cover that cost of moving the material around, grinding it, preparing it to be recycled into our biosolids waste." 

The three-year contract with Fox will cost the city $1,038,100 the first year and $720,600 each year after that. The contract also includes the option to renew for two additional years once the original term expires.

Commercial rates are also increasing, but includes room for the city to negotiate discounts with companies based on volume or quality of material brought to the facility. High-volume users that bring in 50 tons per year will see a cost increase of about $150 per year, Clark said.