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Sonoma County Board of Supervisors backs landfill deal

Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday voiced support for a move that would expand the county's central landfill by permanently turning over operations to a national solid waste contractor, starting with a 20-year deal worth an estimated $547 million.

In their first formal look at the proposal, members of the Board of Supervisors touted its benefits for garbage customers and taxpayers while opponents led by organized labor representatives called out its risks.

The agreement is said to be the largest single public-private contract in county history and it sparked a nearly four-hour hearing Tuesday with two dozen speakers weighing in on both sides.

Chief among the benefits is a rate system with built-in caps that supporters say would avoid the steep hikes imposed by the county, averaging about 10 percent each year over the past decade.

"We know where we've been," said board Chairman David Rabbitt. "What we're trying to do is stop that trend going forward."


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