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Trash deal banks on low inflation

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Evanston's revised plan to bury its five-year-old dispute with Advanced Disposal over the trash transfer station on Church Street assumes that inflation will remain well below 2 percent annually for the next two decades.

The original settlement terms agreed to by the city's law department last month called for perpetually freezing the proposed host community fee at $0.75 per ton.

The revised deal — reached after aldermen objected to the original plan — would raise the fee by five cents every four years for 20 years — equivalent to about 1.6 percent annually — and cap increases at 2 percent annually after that.

City Attorney Grant Farrar in a memo to aldermen for tonight's meeting at which they'll be asked to approve the revised settlement terms, said that given state regulation of transfer stations, the city has no power to to shut down or force relocation of the facility — something that had been clear at the start of the dispute.

He also said the new fee is close to the average for fees at a sampling of other facilities around the state.

Under the settlement, the city will get to keep the nearly $1.3 million it has received since 2011 under a $2 per ton fee it imposed then and Advance Disposal will make landscaping and other improvements to the facility that it had proposed before filing the suit challenging the fee.

A rendering of the proposed new landscaping for the transfer station entryway.

In 2012, at the height of the controversy, neighbors joined Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl at a sidewalk news conference outside the transfer station — in hopes that plans for a new transfer station in Morton Grove might lead to closure of the one here.

But opposition from neighbors there — who noted that although the proposed site was in an industrial area it would have been across the from the local high school's athletic field — killed that project.

Related stories

Transfer station deal put on hold (1/27/16)

City to bury dispute with trash operator (1/25/16)

City pushes for switch to out-of-town trash station (3/16/12)

Neighbors oppose waste station expansion (8/22/11)

City girds for battle with trash giant (8/9/11)

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