Athens Cites Minimum Wage, Sick Leave Laws For Rate Hike Request

Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

Sure to raise a stink with residents, the Glendora City Council will discuss a requested rate increase for trash services in town.

Athens Services, otherwise known as Arekelian Enterprises, submitted a request to the city, asking to raise trash rates by 1.88 percent to cover costs, Staff said, related to the recently adopted State of California minimum wage and sick leave laws. Future rate increases are being requested through 2020.

The maximum rate increase, contingent on City Council approval, is set to begin July 1.

In the request submitted by Gary Clifford, Athens executive vice president and former Glendora council member, AB10 (Minimum Wage: Annual Adjustment) and AB304 (Sick Leave: Accrual and Limitations) were cited as directly affecting costs which drove the necessity to create a rate adjustment.

Between July 2014 and July 2015, state and Los Angeles county minimum wage increases, coupled with AB304 costs, caused expenses to rise above 32 percent, City Staff said.

The county’s minimum wage increase, adopted by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in September 2015, affects Athens because the company operates its “Material Recover Facility” in La Puente, an unincorporated area of the City of Industry.

Here is a breakdown of the minimum wage increases and their rate adjustment to the city, according to Athens:

Athens Rate Increase Request

For a single dwelling unit, the adjusted rate is $25.43 and would rise to $25.91.

The 10-year exclusive franchise agreement, which went into effect in 2014, allows for extraordinary rate adjustments due to scenarios when Athens is mandated to take on new costs that are not reasonably foreseen during negotiations.

That agreement also stipulates that the city will make the final determination if the rate increases will be made:

City shall review Athens Services’ request and, in City’s sole judgment and absolute, unfettered discretion, make the final determination as to whether an adjustment to the maximum rates will be made, and, if an adjustment is permitted, the appropriate amount of the adjustment.

The city will discuss this at the council meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the Council Chambers, 116 E. Foothill Blvd.