KENNESAW — City residents will see a jump in the cost of sanitation services this fall after the City Council approved changes to the contract with Republic Services on Monday night.

Council member David Blinkhorn made it clear at last week’s work session that he was not happy about the 15% increase from $14.46 to $16.58 per unit, and had asked Public Works Director Ricky Stewart to negotiate a cap on annual adjustments to the cost.

Republic’s figure of $16.58 was approved, however, company representative Monica Moseley tentatively agreed to a 5% cap on future adjustments for the life of the contract. Any federal or state legislation affecting rates would not be subject to the cap and would have to be considered in future negotiations, something Blinkhorn said they are legally required to do as a council.

This particular increase is partly due to House Bill 792, which passed the state Legislature in 2018, raising the fees on municipal solid waste facilities.

“We cannot control the legislation at the Gold Dome. And they proved that last year when they passed the tax at $1.50 per ton,” Moseley said.

Moseley also cited slope slides at the landfills, which cost thousands of dollars to mitigate, and having to remain compliant with the Environmental Protection Division as a reason for cost increases.

“We’re having to put more dollars into these landfills. And as y’all probably know, it’s not easy to site a landfill. If we wanted to site one here in Kennesaw, I don’t think that would go over well at all,” she said.

The amended contract was unanimously approved by the council, pending legal review.

In other business:

♦ The council approved the five-year lease of a 2019 Chevrolet Impala through the Georgia Municipal Association for a total of $21,427 at an interest rate of 4.60%. The city will own the vehicle at the end of the period. At last week’s work session, council member Pat Ferris had asked if it was possible to get a better rate by not using GMA. Finance Director Gina Auld explained that the city cannot enter into long-term debt, defined as more than a year, without a referendum. The lease agreement through GMA meets the requirements of state law because its financing structure is subject to annual appropriation.

♦ A 63-day temporary suspension on the acceptance and processing of permit applications to erect off-premise outdoor advertising in the city was passed. The city ordinance currently prohibits them, including “those signs commonly referred to as a billboard.” Kennesaw intends to evaluate the prohibition of these signs and potentially adopt code amendments.

♦ The council approved final site plans for a proposed development at 4090 Jiles Road. The site will contain a dental facility.

♦ TW Kennesaw Real Estate, LLC submitted a consolidation plat for 3915, 3925 and 3945 Jiles Way to combine the three parcels into one for commercial development. The owners plan to redevelop the existing car wash. It was also approved by the council.

♦ Blinkhorn congratulated Mayor Derek Easterling on his appointment to Gov. Brian Kemp’s Professional Standards Commission, which oversees certification and professional conduct in Georgia schools. Easterling is a leadership teacher at Awtrey Middle School in the Cobb County School District.