July 26, 2002 11:00 pm

It's no secret that garbage rates are going up. The question is how much?

Union County planner Hanley Jenkins recently told the La Grande City Council that tipping rates will go to $22 per ton, but the county commissioners have not yet set that rate.

Tipping rates are the cost to dump garbage at the Fox Hill Landfill.

The commissioners will have two public meetings, during which public comment will be taken, in August on the proposed rate increases.

The first meeting, at 10 a.m. Aug. 7, will cover the proposed $22-per-ton franchise fee that will be charged to the county's garbage haulers. City Garbage Service operates the Materials Recovery Facility and after the new rates are set, residents will be required to take all garbage there when the landfill is closed to public use. The rate for taking garbage to the facility on Highway 30 has not been set, Jenkins said.

The second meeting, at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 21, will cover proposed new fees for people who have their garbage collected on a route.

The City of La Grande has already set its garbage rates based on curbside recycling and the increased cost of dumping.