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Oak Harbor signs agreement for trash hauling on Seaplane Base

Oak Harbor has entered into a 10-year franchise agreement with Island Disposal for waste collection on the Seaplane Base.

The city council last week unanimously approved the franchise agreement, following a public hearing, along with a second and separate franchise  agreement that settled a tax liability the garbage hauler accumulated since 2008.

According to Public Works Director Cathy Rosen, the Seaplane Base is owned by the Navy but was annexed into the city in 1969. The Navy had provided its own collection services until December of 2008 when Island Disposal took over.

The company entered into an agreement with Forest City, the management firm the Navy contracts with to provide military housing.

However, as the Seaplane Base is within city limits, Island Disposal is required to pay Oak Harbor utility taxes for its solid waste disposal services.

It began paying in January of this year, but had an outstanding balance of $52,679 that accumulated since 2008.

Paul Brewer, a former city councilman and the solid waste manager for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, cautioned that an agreement should be postponed until after the city has decided whether it will build its own transfer station.

“I really think we’re putting the horse before the cart,” Brewer said.

Oak Harbor resident Mel Vance said he thought the city should investigate further to see if any other base franchises are being missed by the city.

He also seconded Brewer’s warning to wait for news about the transfer station.

Both men are seeking positions on the city council in this year’s election.

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