The Osakis City Council voted to approve a 3% increase in garbage service costs at its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 8.

Jeff Bertram of West Central Sanitation said that when the company signed its seven-year contract in the city in 2018, the rates were set so that a 3% increase would come every other year.

However, the increase for 2019 was overlooked by both the city and West Central Sanitation.

"What I suggested earlier this year when we did the 2021 adjustment is that we would receive a 2022 adjustment to make up for that 2019 adjustment, even though we're not scheduled for one in 2022," Bertram said. "Because we missed the one in 2019, we'd like to catch up with that because we've been paying the additional disposal costs for two years without an increase."

Bertram said that the rates will go up 44 cents a month for the 35-gallon cart, 51 cents a month for the 65-gallon cart and 56 cents a month for the 95-gallon cart.

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"The 3% is strictly for the Pope/Douglas incineration disposal increase. Every year they increase the disposal rates 4%," Bertram said. "The 3% basically was covering 1½% per year for that disposal increase. It had nothing to do with the cost of living adjustment or anything else."

The good news is that residents didn't pay for the increase for two years, Bertram said.

"You have about 600 garbage customers in Osakis, around the average would be 45-50 cents per resident," he said. "For two years they didn't pay that. We're not asking for (anything) that isn't contracted, other than that we missed that in 2019."

The change is set to take place in April 2022.