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Albany, Oregon is a long way from San Diego. But does prolonged haggling between the city council there and trash behemoth Allied Waste, which also operates here, offer a preview of what's in store if Mayor Jerry Sanders and allies ever manage to get the city out of the solid waste business?

"The company had reduced its first request for a 9 percent hike by proposing a 6 percent increase July 1 — equal to 95 cents a month for residential customers — followed by 4 percent in July 2012, and a 2 percent raise plus the Consumer Price Index in January 2013," Albany's Democrat Herald reports this morning. "After that, the rates would rise in line with the CPI.

"Among other things, Councilor Floyd Collins asked that the schedule be changed so that the council could reopen it if Allied’s margin based on Albany revenue and expenses hit 7 percent in 2012, instead of 6 percent as the company projects. The rate request will go back to the council on June 22."

"Councilor Bill Coburn said all Allied was asking was a reasonable rate of return, and a 4.3 percent margin was 'pretty darn slim.'

"Councilor Dick Olsen worried about people being able to afford trash service. And Councilor Bessie Johnson said she did not want the rates ever to be automatically raised without the council having an annual say."

Here's the story:



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