The Highland City Council voted on Tuesday, April 23, to extend leniency to Burrtec Waste Management after the company missed the contracted deadline for submitting an annual rate adjustment proposal.

The new solid waste franchise agreement, signed Aug. 1, 2018, for the city’s trash pickup, street sweeping and other services set a new deadline for submitting rate increase proposals and related information for March 1.

“We had been on a particular schedule with our accounting department for a number of years and it was an error on our part and we ask for leniency since this is the first year in a new agreement,” Burrtec Vice President Michael Arreguin told the council.

Highland Public Services Manager Melissa Morgan assured the council that extending the deadline would not interfere with the usual and required legal processes for rate adjustments. Any proposed rate increase would still go before the public works subcommittee, have a 45-day public notice period and public hearings before going to the city council for a vote.

Councilman John Timmer stated a reluctance to approve the deadline extension as the March 1 deadline was agreed upon by both the city of Highland and Burrtec in a contract, stating, “A deal’s a deal.” He also voiced concern over the possibility that any rate adjustments not addressed this year would increase adjustments of the following year. Councilwoman Anaeli Solano agreed saying, “Either we deal with it now or we deal with it later.”

The item was passed 4-0, with Councilman Jesse Chavez absent.

According to Morgan, the rate adjustment proposal will now go before the public works subcommittee this week and soon start the 45-day public notice period. Public hearings will be held in June.

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