Revenue Generating Pilot Program Approved for Water Plant
Steve Stewart and Tom Petersen introduce the Pilot Program to charge for portable toilet waste, during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
Steve Stewart and Tom Petersen introduce the Pilot Program to charge for portable toilet waste, during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The July 23, 2013 Fillmore City Council Meeting was completed in less than an hour. The agenda items addressed included approval of the pilot program to charge for portable toilet waste disposal, new upgraded copy machines, and an appointment to the Planning Commission.

The four month pilot program to accept portable toilet waste at the Fillmore Water Recycling Plant was approved by the Council. It was scheduled to begin on September 3rd but those working on the project are pushing for an earlier date. The test trial will start at accepting 3/10th of 1% the facilities capacity at 15 cents per gallon. The plant currently uses only 55% of its permitted capacity. Its total capacity is 1.8 million gallons per day which is about double the amount of residents/customers it services.

There are other facilities that accept portable toilet waste and charge less per gallon, such as Lancaster (10.1 cents), Saugus (9.7 cents) and Carson and Pomona (5.7 cents); but for businesses such as local agriculture, construction and outdoor events here in Ventura County using Fillmore's facility makes better economic sense considering the travel time and cost of gas. An informal telephone survey revealed that business located in within the vicinity of Fillmore generate approximately 15,000 gallons per day, which equates to approximately .833% of the plants total capacity.

One portable toilet supplier is ready to participate in the trial program; which is expected to generate $30,000 in revenue every four months. The associated costs for staff and legal services needed to initiate the program is expected to be approximately $4,000 with American Water's fee at approximately $4,500, netting the City in the range of $22,500 for the first four months. If the test trial shows no impact on the facility's operating capacity other portable toilet supplies will then be allowed to use the facility up to 1% of its capacity; which has the potential of generating well over $200,000 for the City. American Water, who runs the plant, will receive 15% of any revenue received under the program.

Another agenda item was approving a new member of the Planning Commission. The new member is Jayme L. Laber, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Watershed Sciences (surface water hydrology) and over 20 years of experience in water resources, flood control and public works related projects. Laber has resided in Fillmore 11 years and stated his reason for applying for the position was, "I would like to give back to the community of Fillmore in some capacity."

The City will soon be upgrading and replacing most of its copy machines. A diligent city staff member, City Treasurer Shannon Godfrey recognized the cost savings to the City by changing lease providers. Godfrey spent over three months in contract negotiations with DocuProducts and Canon Financial Services with the final contract expected to save the City $560 each month. Godfrey told the Council the City makes about 30,000 copies per month and is also paying for repairs of the City owned equipment, which Godfrey said is quite often. With the new contract the City will have more copiers, which are internet connected (except those at the Police Station and Planning Department), repairs are included in the contract and copiers that are user friendly. Acting City Manager Rigo Landeros made a point of thanking Godfrey for all the effort she put into arranging the new contract that is upgrading City equipment and saving the City $6,720 per year.