STANFORD — Some Stanford residents have apparently been paying about $2 too much per month for trash pickup.
City Councilwoman Amy Hazlett told council members Thursday night she had looked into the city's trash charges, which are billed through the water department, after a constituent complained to her that her bill was too high.
"Apparently we've been charging $2.10 a month on water bills for a trash container," she said.
One or two trash containers are supposed to be included at no additional charge to each address, according to the city's contract with Republic Services Inc.
Stanford Mayor Bill Miracle said the city discovered the improper charge after the council approved a trash rate increase of 25 cents per month in February.
He said he believes the city is improperly charging the $2.10.
"We are talking to the League of Cities and the water department to try to resolve this and see what the real situation is," he said. "I'm not trying to put off anything on it. We want to get all the facts together before we actually start addressing that."
City Clerk Denise Pike said the easiest way to fix things will probably be to give customers monthly credits of $2.10 for however many months they wound up paying the extra money. It will take "a little bit of doing" to figure out exactly how much each customer is owed, she said.
"We're trying to make it as easy a transition back to them (trash customers) as we can," she said. "Mainly we just want to make sure that we've done it as correctly as we could."
Republic Services petitioned the city council last month for a 5-percent increase to their monthly trash pickup fee. The council voted 5-1 to award a 2.5-percent increase instead, bringing Republic's monthly charge up from $9.85 to $10.10.
Beginning with this month's bills, Stanford trash customers will pay $10.10 for trash pickup, along with a 5-percent fee added by the water department for processing the bills. The total cost will be $10.60.
For the past two years, Stanford trash customers have paid $9.85 per month plus the 5-percent billing fee, for a total of $10.34.
Customers who have been paying the additional $2.10 for trash containers have been paying a total of $12.44 per month.
If city officials move forward with a plan to credit back that $2.10 per month, affected customers would pay a net total of $8.50 per month for the same number of months they paid the container fee.