Spokane Valley likely will be taking a pass on joining the county's regional solid waste system.
The city council unanimously decided tonight to advance a proposed contract with Sunshine Disposal & Recycling for final consideration next week, despite warnings from county officials who contend that comparisons suggesting Valley residents would save at least $250,000 a year are flawed. Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke said the difference between the Sunshine rate and the county's estimate is almost indistinguishable when all variables are taken into account, while Commissioner Shelly O'Quinn added that the county plan provides greater overall cost benefits and better customer service.
City officials stood by their comparisons, however, and council members said it would be irresponsible to move forward with a county plan that lacks any rate guarantees. Sunshine's offer included a guaranteed rate with future increases kept below inflation.
The proposed Sunshine contract will be brought to a final vote next Tuesday.
Several other cities across Spokane County were meeting tonight to consider private-sector options as well.
Look for a roundup later this week in The Spokesman-Review.