Council set to consider fee for Recycle Center

The Ashland City Council will consider adopting a charge on residents to support the Recycle Center on Water Street, which costs $155,000 to run each year while bringing in about $20,000 from the sale of recyclables.

The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

Councilors have a range of options to consider for subsidizing the Recycle Center, which so far has been paid for by Recology Ashland Sanitary Service customers through their garbage bills.

The council could adopt a flat $1.60 monthly fee on garbage customers, or a 4 percent monthly fee on customers.

The percentage-based fee would have a bigger impact on businesses — which produce more garbage and pay higher bills — than residents.

A $1 monthly fee on all city electric customers or a $1.40 fee on city water customers would broaden the number of people who would be paying for the Recycle Center beyond garbage customers.

City staff members have not proposed directly charging people who drop off materials at the Recycle Center, which is used by Ashlanders as well as residents from across the Rogue Valley and northern California.

Collecting fees from people using the center could require adding more attendants, according to workers there.

Councilors will also consider other changes to Recology fees, including increased fees on producers of medical waste and on residents who use infrequent, on-call garbage and recycling pick-up services.

In other business on Tuesday night, councilors will consider whether to pay $9,000 more for a traffic engineering study on North Main Street road diet impacts. Originally the study was projected to cost $17,000.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will reimburse the city for the original cost of the study plus the increase, according to city staff.

The number of car lanes on North Main Street on Ashland's northern outskirts were reduced in October 2012 to make room for new bike lanes.

This coming November, Ashland city councilors will consider whether to keep the new configuration in place, or have the road re-striped to take it back to its past layout.

Also Tuesday night, councilors are scheduled to give final approval to new regulations governing vacation home rentals.

Those regulations include requirements that people renting out their homes to tourists for short stays have city business licenses and be registered to pay the city's 9 percent hotel tax.

For a complete list of agenda items and for details on each item, visit

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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