Santa Barbara officials will also discuss solid waste rate increases
The Santa Barbara City Council will meet Tuesday to discuss adopting the operating and capital budget for fiscal year 2021.
As previously reported, the citywide revenue losses for FY2021 amount to $24 million. The council discussed budget changes on June 15 and on Tuesday will discuss adopting the amended budget.
At the June 15 special meeting, council gave direction to staff on Finance Committee recommendations and other adjustments. The recommendations include: general fund revenue assumptions; proposed general fund and enterprise fund fee changes; and staff-recommended adjustments.
The approved changes included: the budget reduction plans; staff adjustments, including $35,000 for the Juneteenth celebration; $1.15 million in Measure C funding for the library plaza and a reduction in the pavement project by the matching amount; $25,000 for the Chamber of Commerce; and $50,000 for the Point in Time Count, according to the staff report.
Also on Tuesday, the council will hold a public hearing regarding proposed solid waste rate increases for FY2021.
The increases are being proposed to adjust for the increase to tipping fees in connection with the development of new solid regional waste processing facilities at the Tajiguas landfill and increasing compensation to the city’s contracted hauler by a CPI factor, pursuant to a franchise agreement, according to the staff report.
An increase of 4.7% is proposed to all customer classes to cover the increases in tipping fees charged by the county.
Since 2008, staff from the county and cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Buellton and Solvang have explored the development of a Resource Recovery Center at the landfill. The goal of the ReSource Center is to significantly increase the diversion of trash from landfill disposal, extending the life of the landfill and providing a long-term waste management solution for the South Coast.
In July 2016, the county executed a contract with MSB Investors to design, build and operate the center, which will include a Materials Recovery Facility that would sort trash and recover recyclables, and an Anaerobic Digester that would convert organics recovered in the MRF into compostable material and biogas, according to the staff report.
“The County is financing the ReSource Center through the issuance of bonded indebtedness. To ensure repayment of the debt and the County’s financial obligations to MSB, each jurisdiction, including the City, committed its waste and a revenue stream through the execution of a 22-year Materials Delivery Agreement (MDA) between the City and the County of Santa Barbara, approved by City Council in December 2016,” the staff report reads.
To meet revenue requirements, the county tipping fees for garbage and recycling have increased above the rate of inflation for the last several years. The city used Solid Waste Fund reserves to mitigate the rate increase in FY2018. For FY2019, the city implemented a 12% rate increase, with a 16% rate increase implemented in FY2020.
“In Fiscal Year 2021, the tipping fees for solid waste and recycling processed by the County at the South Coast Transfer Station and the Tajiguas Landfill will increase from $150 to $158 per ton to fund the final year of construction of the ReSource Center,” the staff report reads.
The ReSource Center is scheduled to open early next year.
In other business, the council will vote to form and appoint council members to a committee to monitor the Land Development Team’s implementation of process improvements. The council will also consider a committee for downtown long-range planning initiatives and receive a preliminary analysis of the COVID-19 Business Advisory Task Force recommendations.
Also, the council will be presented with a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis and condemn police brutality.
Prior to the regular meeting, the council will hold a special meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and will hold a closed session meeting to consider instructions regarding negotiations with the Santa Barbara City Employees’ Association.
Both meetings will be held virtually, with a stream available at www.santabarbaraca.gov/cap.