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What does this have to do the Landfill?

Some of the secret negotiations have been released after month of talks with Waste Management and my first reaction is what does most of the items have to do with the impacts of the landfill expansion.

The agenda, along with the Staff Report, can be viewed on the City of Simi Valley website.

MOU 2: Some aspects do involve the landfill, such as limiting the increase to only 20 trucks per day over the current permitted amount, which means an increase from 822 to 842. The permit request asked to increase it to 892, not the false claims made by Council members, such as Barbra Williamson who said it would be increased by 600 trucks per day, which is impossible.

MOU 3 involves the landfill, but it is actually part of the permit request that takes part of the existing landfill footprint and uses it for other purposes. This must have been really hard to negotiate for :-).

MOU 4 says that WM agreed to consider annexation in good faith in two years. Based on the actions of the City Council, WM would be fools to agree to that unless the people on the Council change. The two years is after the next election though.

MOU 5 regards new technology and I suspect is something that WM does all the time.

MOU 6 is an interesting one. It says that WM will accept biosolids from the Simi Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant and NOT charge the City of Simi Valley for the amount of $250,000. This means that Simi Valley gets free waste, but do you think that we, the citizens of Simi Valley, we see ANY of that money? It is more likely that the Council will just spend that money on other things. The local business should get a reduction in the cost of business permits.

MOU 7 regards hazardous waste, which as I understand it was part of the whole plan from the beginning. It allows people to get rid of the hazardous waste, rather than the current City plan which I have tried to use and was told that all the reservations are taken and to call back some other time.

MOU 8 deals with access to WM's property to the south of the 118. It says that it is about job creation, but if that is the case, then there is the issue of additional housing and recreation, as stated in the EIR.

MOU 9 seems to be yet another way for the City to extort money from WM and most likely the citizens will see nothing from this. WM is to take over the street cleaning, at a savings of $400,00 per year to the City. Since the City does it now, I have to wonder what will happen to the City workers who currently do the job. Also, since the City is going to be saving money, are the fees and permits for the people and businesses going to go down? Somehow I doubt it.

MOU 10 regards selling 700 acres of open space land, west of the landfill, to the Nature Conservancy. How does this address any of the impacts of the landfill?

MOU 11 states that WM has to provide a litter control program on a twice monthly basis, but included with that is landscaping at some of the intersections for a total amount of $100,000.

MOU 12 is quite interesting. Once the trash exceeds 3000 tons per day on an average basis, the City get $100,000 to deal with traffic light synchronization in order to reduce pollution. I thought that the City was doing this already. Perhaps that was just talk and now the City has someone to pin the costs on. It might help somewhat with the trash trucks in the City, but that traffic is not going to increase, it is just another way for the City to get money and most likely spend the existing money in other ways.

MOU 13 says that WM will add one additional free residential landfill day. The City is really looking out for the citizens with this one!

MOU 14 forces WM to purchase claimed water from the City, which according to Council member is currently just going out to the ocean. So, the city will get more money and while it is good that this water will be put to use, I again have to wonder what the citizens get out of this. Do you think any fees or permits will be lowered?

MOU 15 says that WM will meet to discuss an energy co-generation facilty at the City's wastewater treatment plant. I have to wonder why the City has not done this on their own. Oh, I get it, it is much better if you can get someone else to pay for it or it is just not worth it since otherwise you might have to reduce some of the Council Benefits.

MOU 16 seems to indicate that WM has to take the City's trash for the current agreed rates.

MOU 17 seems to be one thing that WM gets, which is that the Franchise Transfer Fee will be waived if WM acquires any other waste-hauling franchise in Simi Valley. I wonder what company is for sale.

MOU 18 admits that an anaerobic bioreactor process at the landfill is currently infeasible, but that it will be discussed in things change. No doubt WM would consider that on their own.

MOU 19 is interesting. WM has to pay the City $80,000 per year for 12 years for trees. The best part it is for trees next to Big Sky. I guess it shows that it pays to allow houses to be built next to a landfill. That also seems like a lot of trees.

MOU 20 has nothing to do with the landfill and seems like extortion again. It is $75,000 annually for law enforcement training. Since the whole concept of these meetings was to deal with issues regarding the landfill expansion, how did this come up? Oh, I get it, it is just another way for the City to get money so that they can spend the existing money in other ways. I had heard that WM offered to provide land for a shooting range and that the FBI agreed to pay for the range development with the public being able to also use it, which would pay for the maintenance. Unfortuately for the public the Simi Valley Police doesn't want to share with the public.

MOU 21 is yet more money for the City, but has nothing to do with issues regarding the landfill. The City gets $75,000 per year for the "Under One Roof" facility.

MOU 22 is yet more money, this time $75,000 per year to the Simi Valley Education Foundation. Again, what does this have to do with the landfill expansion?

MOU 23 is again about money, but at least it is related to the landfill, but unfortunately it seems to suddenly ignore the issue of where the trash comes from. If the daily waste exceeds 3000 tons in any given day, the City of Simi Valley gets $1 per ton. This means that the City has an interest in getting more trash into the landfill and they don't care where it comes from. I have to wonder if this means that the City is going to encourage WM to take more trash from Los Angeles or anywhere else so that the Council gets more money to play with.

MOU 24 is funny. WM already said that the trucks would be reduced as transfer trucks were going to be used.

MOU 25 seems also to be nothing as WM has stated that they try to use Alternate Fueled vehicles.

MOU 26 seems to be nothing as I recall that WM was stating during the process that the building would be built to the LEED standards.

MOU 27 just states that since the City is going to be paid off, they will now change their tune and support the expansion. It is a shame that the City can't just do what is right, but instead demands money before doing the right thing.

Ok, so just how does all this really change what was planned from the beginning (other than the money to the City)? I would like to see the Citizens get something out of this, such as the City agreeing to reduce the fees for permits.



Index for Save Simi Valley

Written: 09-May-2011

Updated: 09-May-2011

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