Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Lake County denies influencing Republic rate hike

| August 31, 2023 12:00 AM

The Lake County Commission, led by Chairman Gale Decker, underscores the paramount importance of responsible solid waste management as a central concern for taxpayers. While the topic might not immediately captivate attention, Chairman Decker accentuates its significance. He emphasizes that fostering a healthier environment involves a collective effort and should transcend profit-oriented motives.

A recent communication via customers billing from Republic Services has prompted scrutiny. The correspondence hints at a rate increase attributed to a new Lake County tax, drawing criticism from both myself, and concerned citizens. Chairman Decker dismisses these allegations as false, asserting that Republic Services retains exclusive control over its pricing decisions.

In my capacity as the Director of Solid Waste, I share frustration and find it imperative to provide context. Notably, discrepancies in Republic’s billing and hauling practices have come to light, including charges billed to Lake County for the disposal of waste originating from outside the county.

This revelation has been disconcerting, leading the county to further investigation. The county has introduced equitable charges to account for Republic’s utilization of county facilities, equipment, and labor, commonly referred to as “tipping fees.” These charges, implemented across the industry, accommodate operational costs as well as profit margins, mirroring the profit model of Republic Services.

Only after the implementation of these rectifying measures did Republic opt to revise its rates for Lake County customers. It is vital to recognize that Lake County lacks authority to dictate the private pricing structures adopted by Republic Services. Republic Services retains the right to adjust its private waste disposal rates.

However, it is essential to clarify that any insinuation of Lake County’s involvement in the rate adjustments by Republic is misleading. Chairman Decker reaffirms this standpoint, emphasizing that Republic remains a private entity and its pricing determinations rest solely within its jurisdiction.

Transparency and integrity rank paramount in dealings with our citizens. These values seamlessly align with Lake County’s commitment to excellence, including the solid waste department.

– Stacey Kintigh

Director of Solid Waste, Lake County

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