Council approves WCA rate increase
Bay City Council approved a 2.5 percent increase for WCA for trash service in the city limits of Bay City. According to Bay City Finance Director Scotty Jones, the 2.5 percent rate increase was already built in the current contract with WCA.
“So the 2.5 percent increase is going to happen,” said Bay City council member Bill Cornman.
Jones said the increase will not go into effect until November.
Both council members and residents expressed their displeasure with WCA service in Bay City.
According to Crystal Nelson, the city’s co-compliance officer in Public Works, more than 6,300 containers are serviced by WCA in Bay City every year. Containers are services up to six times a week and WCA hauls more than 11,000 cubic yards from Bay City homes and businesses each year.
“In one month, we could fill up one football field one yard high,” Nelson said.
Nelson said the department has conveyed to WCA issues that are prevalent in the city. Those issues include lack of brush and heavy trash pickup.
“We have a monthly meeting with WCA to discuss issues such as this,” Nelson said. “We have expressed our displeasure with this service and they informed us they are having staffing issues.”
Derek Bangs, site manager for WCA, said the group is working on fixing the problem of brush pickup in the city.
Cornman questioned during the monthly meetings if tracking performance measures are put in place for WCA.
“No set measures right now,” Bangs said.
“I get a ton of complaints,” Cornman said. “If we have some performance metrics that we could put our foot on, it would certainly help. It is hard to go along with this rate increase if we don’t have something to measure it by.
“I am having a difficult time with your rate proposal,” Cornman said. “You are not getting complaints because people are giving up on you. People are giving up and they are not calling you anymore.”
Bangs, though, said that his office is fielding complaints from Bay City residents and admitted that these complaints have gone up during the year.
Bay City Council Member Becca Sitz said education is the key in getting the word out to the city’s residents.
“There is a place to put your yard trash and not complaint about dead trash but take it on their own,” Sitz said. “That would help everybody. We have a recycling center that doesn’t get well used enough. We pay ahead for service that we are not happy about. I don’t think the performance at this point merits a raise.”
Cornman said he was happy that WCA is still in Bay City.
“I’m glad you give a damn because we really want to see some improvement here,” Cornman said.
Before council heard the presentation from WCA, a few residents spoke up during public comments to ask council to reject any raise for the company.
“I would ask council to vote no on WCA rate increase,” said Jerry Hand. “When they took over, Mr. Cornman was fresh on council and paid them separately to clean up Bay City. The trash on streets belongs to them. They have failed to meet their requirements. It has not improved. The city has bent over backwards modifying the contract and they have failed to fulfill their duties of the contract.”