Council Approves Trash Contract, CdMHS Parking Restrictions

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Trash, parking and trees were among the agenda items at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The “main event,” of the night, as Mayor Keith Curry called it, was the agreement for residential solid waste collection.

After nearly three hours of discussion, council voted 4-3 to approve the $19.8 million contract with CR&R Inc., the lowest bidder. The two other companies being considered were Ware Disposal and Rainbow Environmental Services.

Mayor Curry and council members Leslie Daigle, Mike Henn and Tony Petros voted in favor of the contract, while Mayor Pro Tem Rush Hill and council members Nancy Gardner and Ed Selich dissented.

Outsourcing the trash collection service to CR&R is expected to save the city approximately $15.8 million over seven years.

Staff recommended not paying the extra $925,000 for the 65 percent guaranteed optional organics diversion program CR&R offered, since the city already meets the state requirements.

Recycling has more benefits than simply to meet the mandate, councilwoman Nancy Gardner said. The value of recycling goes beyond that, she added.

Several residents agreed with Gardner, including Corona del Mar resident Gart Sutton.

“Make the decision of the best company who can go out there and do the job that needs to be done for our environment,” he said.

Sutton endorsed Rainbow after attending a meeting with his 12-year-old son and they provided educational information on the importance of recycling. It’s important that youth understand this idea, Sutton emphasized.

He also referenced support from several Harbor View Elementary School community members in the audience.

Several other residents also spoke about the importance of recycling.

A number of residents don’t want to be forced to separate their recycling at home, Curry said. They’ll have the same choices they’ll have today, he added, it will all be voluntary.

Many residents also spoke in favor of Rainbow as the preferred company.

Another concern raised during pubic comment was the level of service and whether or not if it would stay consistent with what they have previously had.

Additional information was gathered by an outside firm, HF&H Consultants LLC, and performed follow-up interviews, satisfaction surveys from residents of other cities, reference checks and safety ratings.

The highest average satisfaction rate went to CR&R at 97.5 percent, Rainbow followed at 97 percent and then Ware with 95.2 percent.

Another recent hot topic was on Tuesday’s agenda: Parking around Corona del Mar High School.

Council voted unanimously 6-0 to restrict parking on Aralia Street. Daigle recused herself for owning property within 500 feet.

The ordinance establishes a one hour time limit on school days between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. for vehicles without permits. Permits will cost $16 annually.

Time limits would reduce or eliminate student parking on streets since student schedules generally only allow a break every two hours or more.

Signs describing the restrictions will be posted.

The restrictions will affect Aralia Street, from Aleppo Street to the end of the cul de sac

Installing the signs and issuing the permits would cost between $7,000 and $10,000, staff estimated in the report. Enforcement will be around $30,000 annually, staff reported.

Gardner asked if it were possible for the school to grant temporary permits for parents on certain occasions.

The city will be working with the school to accommodate those type of parking issues that arise, Petros explained.

Residents and property owners in the area have expressed concerns with the high school students parking in the neighborhood, according to the staff report.

Staff conducted a survey of the 46 residences in the area and found 80 percent in favor of the restrictions, according to the report.

The council also approved a modified permit for Woody’s Wharf with the previously discussed changes, a local coastal program grant proposal, and a $1.3 annual contract with Great Scott Tree Service for the city’s tree maintenance, which has been done by West Coast Arborists for the past 20 years.

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