February 12, 2024

Oxnard Announces March 19, 2024 Public Hearing to Consider Proposed Rate Adjustments for Solid Waste

Katie Casey, Communications Manager
(805) 816-4330 | [email protected]

OXNARD, Calif. – The City’s Public Works Department Environmental Resources Division (ER) is an enterprise fund operation that provides Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) services such as the collection, sorting, processing, and disposal of waste to 34,154 residential properties and 16,378 commercial customers.

The last time the City Council approved a cost of service study to evaluate solid waste rates was in May 2012, with a rate increase effective January 2013. Over the past 10 years, the City’s residential solid waste rate (96-gallons) only increased by 63 cents per month or 2.1% for residential service. The most popular commercial rate (4-yard/once per week) increased by 2.7% or $6.05. Yet, over the same decade, the consumer price index increased by 33.9%.

Solid Waste Cost of Service Rate Study
In December 2022, the City hired Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc., a firm with expertise in developing solid waste cost of service studies. Based upon the study’s findings, the City will consider proposed rate increases at a Public Hearing on March 19, 2024 to cover the Environmental Resources Division’s costs including but not limited to: operations; major infrastructure investments; increased costs for waste and recyclable collections and disposal; increased costs for equipment and fuel; and implementing State-mandated programs.

If rates are not adjusted, the service to customers may be affected, and public and environmental health could be impacted. Current rates are not sufficient to sustain daily operations and waste disposal services. Deferring rate adjustments will impact the day-to-day operations and result in higher costs, due in part to possible increased regulatory oversight and significant fines by State agencies. The City’s Environmental Resources division would be forced to defer the acquisition of equipment and infrastructure projects that would leave the City’s existing solid waste operations and system vulnerable.

Community Outreach
Starting in November 2023, the City began hosting community meetings to seek public feedback regarding solid waste services and discuss the revenue increase needed to fund operations and maintenance, and ensure compliance with unfunded State mandates. These meeting dates include:

The City also presented a “Solid Waste (Refuse) Rates Discussion” before the Public Works and Transportation Committee (video available here) on November 14, 2023, and before the City Council on December 5, 2023 (video available here).

Sample Bill of Proposed Solid Waste (Refuse) Rates
Based on an average single-family residence with a three cart 96-gallon service per month, the increase for the first year of the proposed changes to the monthly fixed solid waste (refuse) rate totals $16.63 per month, or roughly 55-cents per day.

Public Hearing
The Oxnard City Council will conduct a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in the Oxnard City Council Chambers (305 W. Third St.) to consider proposed rates, fees, and charges for solid waste services, and will hear and consider oral testimony and written materials submitted regarding proposed rate increases. The City Council will consider protests and comments before adjusting or adopting the proposed rate increases.

In compliance with California Proposition 218, the City mailed an official Notice to inform Oxnard property owners and solid waste customers that proposed rate increases are being considered at a Public Hearing and of their right to participate and to protest rate increases. 

The public is encouraged to read the Notice or access the digital copy and related information at www.oxnard.org/refuserates. The public can also request information or ask questions via email at [email protected] or by calling (805) 385-8060. 

How to Protest the Proposed Solid Waste Rate Increases
You have the right to protest the proposed rate increase. Each written protest must (1) state the name of the identified property owner or utility customer; (2) provide the location of the identified property by street address or assessor’s parcel number; and (3) include an original signature of the submitting property owner or utility customer. 

Written protests may be submitted by mail or in person to the Oxnard City Clerk’s Office, 300 West Third Street, 4th Floor, Oxnard, CA 93030, and submitted in person during the Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, before it concludes.

At the Public Hearing, the City Council will accept and consider all written protests and hear all oral comments on the Proposed Changes. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the City Council will consider the adoption of the proposed changes as follows: (1) If less than a majority of property owners or utility customers file a protest, the City Council will consider increasing solid waste rates, effective July 1, 2024. (2) If a majority of affected property owners or utility customers protest the increase, the City Council is prohibited by law from increasing solid waste rates.

If adopted, the proposed solid waste rates will take effect beginning July 1, 2024, with yearly adjustments thereafter for 2025, 2026, 2027, and 2028. For more information, please refer to Oxnard Resolution No. 14,877 for Procedures for Establishing and Increasing Fees and Charges Under Proposition 218, available at www.oxnard.org/refuserates.