Palmview looks to bill residents separately for waste collection

PALMVIEW — Residents here may soon see a change to their billing as the city looks to bill for trash collection services separate from residents’ water services.

Currently, the city contracts with the Agua Special Utility District to collect payment for trash collection and water services through one bill. Agua SUD collects both payments, but they, in turn, send garbage collection payments to Palmview.

During Tuesday’s meeting, though, the Agua SUD board of directors approved a 30-day notice of termination of the agreement, paving the way for Palmview to bill residents on their own.

Joel Garcia, Palmview’s mayor pro-tem, said the city needed to prepare for the future and said the city would at one point have its own utilities.

“Maybe not in our time,” he said. “(The city) deserves, like the other cities around us, to have their own utilities and to be independent.”

There was also hope, Garcia said, that the move would save the city money.

“We’re working pretty good together,” Garcia said of the city and Agua SUD’s decision. “We’re trying to look for a way to save money for the community.”

The move comes after the city increased waste collection fees by about $2 per month for residents with two trash receptacles, raising the monthly rate from $25.50 to $27.57.

The increase was a way to establish uniformity in the way the city calculates the rates, Finance Director Rachel Chapa told the council during their Nov. 20 meeting. It also served to match what the city was being billed by Republic Services, the waste collection company currently contracted by the city.

Commercial businesses were also affected by the increase to varying degrees.

Billing residents for those services separate from their water services was not definite, Garcia said, adding that the city was currently just looking at options.

During the Agua SUD meeting Tuesday, attorney Frank Garza said that if the city needed more time for the transition, the Agua SUD board could revisit the matter to grant an extension.