Garbage and recycling rates will be going up, but not as much as was first considered by the San Carlos City Council in a previous meeting.
The council voted by a 3-2 margin to raise rates by no more than nine percent. The last proposal was for a 12 percent across the board.
There are four levels of rates, depending on the size of the can. The lowest rate (20 gallons) will become 21.87 a month, up from 17.31.
The 32 gallon rate rises to 32.18 from 27.69, 64 gallons will go up to 62.23 from 57.62 and 96 gallons will be set at 93.45 from 88.16, effective January, 2013.
Assistant city manager Brian Moura explained that the increase will offset deficits accumulated from previous years shortfalls.
The rate increases were a sensitive issue for many in the audience, some of whom complained they can't even fill a 20 gallon can once a week and that the pickup of recyclable materials once a week was too much.
Mayor Matt Grocott held up 74 written protests at one point, saying "I consider this 7,400 protests."
Grocott and councilman Bob Graselli voted against the increase, while council members Mark Olbert, Ron Collins and Karen Clapper voted for the increase.
City manager Jeff Maltbie said if the rates were not increased at Monday night's meeting, it would lead to customers receiving supplement bills later.
Retiring San Carlos planning manager Deborah Nelson reported the Eastside Connect Project has passed several obstacles and is close to receiving bids.
The project will provide for a bicycle boulevard on East San Carlos Ave. and Old County Road and make other improvements for better pedestrian access, including landscaping and reshaping the crosswalk leading out of the Arroyo Underpass.
A major feature of the project will remove the railroad track embedded in Old County Road.
What was supposed to be the biggest issue of the night, the consideration to approve the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Transit Village Project turned into an information only meeting despite a special 5 p.m. meeting to accommodate all the reports.
The decision on the FEIR was postponed to the Jan. 14 meeting because of the length needed to hear all the presentations.
SamTrans executive officer Mark Simon made some important points during his presentation, easing some of the concerns of the Greater East San Carlos Association.
"It is our intent not to impact Old County Road," Simon said. "There is space on the right-of-way to accommodate four tracks should it be needed for high speed rail."
Simon also assured the council that the staging area for the project would be on the El Camino Real side of the tracks.
SamTrans will retain ownership of the property in question, Simon said. It is expected to generate $900,000 a year in revenues for the department.
Simon also said that SamTrans has projects in the works for the area around the Hayward Park train station and the Daly City/Colma BART area.
Possible changes to traffic as a result of the project would include a pedestrian-friendly walkway from Oak Street to Cherry Street along the El Camino Real.
One or both of the right turn lanes from northbound El Camino onto to eastbound Holly Street could be eliminated and the left turn from El Camino to Holly could also be eliminated. Traffic would be directed onto Walnut to Holly.
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