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Rohnert Park weighing new garbage deal that provides money for roads

Rohnert Park is to consider a proposed new garbage contract that would include a big chunk of money for street repairs.

Under the contract city staff have proposed, Rohnert Park would get $455,000 a year to offset wear and tear that garbage hauling trucks put on its streets.

The city has an estimated $3 million shortfall in funds for street repairs and maintenance.

"The details and terms would still have to be negotiated, but they are flexible to making the amendment," City Manager Gabe Gonbzalez said the city's garbage hauler, Rohnert Park Disposal.

The company is part of the Ratto Group, which provides garbage services to the unincorporated parts of Sonoma County and eight of the county's cities.

The council tonight will be asked to direct staff to draw up the new contract, with any desired changes; the contract itself is not up for final approval.

Council members who have worked on the new contract said they did not know why a street impact fee was not already part of the franchise agreement, which dates from 2001.

"It should have been factored in," said Councilman Ahanotu, who is on the waste and recycling subcommittee. "The impact they have on our neighborhoods is substantial and we need to make sure we recoup the maintenance," he said.

Ahanotu's colleage on the subcommittee, Vice-Mayor Pam Stafford, said: "I don't know why it wasn't there before because it probably should have been."

The council's longest serving member, Mayor Jake Mackenzie, said that when the contract was first written, the impact on city streets was factored in to rates but "it was not done in as accurate a manner as . . . for these amendments."


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