Isabella Vanderheiden / @ 12:35 p.m. / Agendizer

Nearly 430 Eureka Property Owners Owe $200K in Garbage Fees, and Staff Are Coming to Collect

Photo: Andrew Goff


The Eureka City Council is in store for a relatively light agenda this week, with only a few action items up for consideration. The big item on tonight’s agenda: Unpaid garbage and recycling fees.

Eureka property owners collectively owe $199,937.99 in unpaid garbage and recycling fees to Recology, with debts ranging between $28.23 and $4,653.80 per parcel, according to a list compiled by the company. Of the 429 parcels on that list, 36 properties owe $1,000 or more in delinquent fees, 29 of which are residential parcels. Some of those residential parcels are made up of apartment complexes, though a surprising amount are single-family homes.

The city requires all property owners to pay for waste collection and disposal services, though there are exceptions for some households that legally recycle and compost solid waste, according to the city’s Mandatory Garbage and Recycling Collection Ordinance.

Property owners whose accounts have been delinquent for more than 60 days were sent a final notice from the city on April 25 that informed them of tonight’s public hearing and a pending city council resolution that could result in a lien against their property.

“Delinquent accounts that are not paid within 20 days of confirmation by the city council shall constitute a special assessment as a lien against the property taxes,” according to the staff report. “The amount due and $1 per APN charge will be assessed on each property. The assessment would be acquired by filing a lien with the County Auditor to collect the amount owed to the franchise hauler with annual property taxes.”

Staff is recommending that the council adopt the resolution.


There are a couple of interesting items on the city council’s consent calendar, including a Nitrous Oxide Prohibition Resolution. The resolution wouldn’t impose an immediate ban on the sale of nitrous oxide, commonly known as whippits, in the city, but it highlights growing concerns around the “important local issue.” 

Another item on the consent calendar would give Eureka’s Finance Director Lane Millar a five percent pay bump to take on additional responsibilities in overseeing the finances of the Humboldt Bay Fire Department.

Items on the consent calendar are typically approved in a single motion without much discussion unless an item is pulled for further discussion.


Those are the big-ticket items, folks! Find the full agenda, with our Agendabot’s item summaries, below. The Eureka City Council meets at 6 p.m. at Eureka City Hall — 531 K Street, Eureka. Remote viewing/participating instructions can be found here.

Eureka City Council
May 21, 2024, 6 p.m.


1. Martin Luther King Day Presentation

2. Lemonade Day Proclamation

3. Forest Moon Festival


1. Prioritizing Essential Services in an Era of Natural Disasters - County of Humboldt




1. Public Hearing and Resolution Confirming and Ordering Special Assessments for Unpaid Garbage

The Eureka City Council will hold a public hearing to address unpaid garbage and recycling collection fees. Property owners are responsible for subscribing to and paying for collection services. Delinquent accounts will be assessed a special fee and a lien may be filed against the property taxes if not paid within 20 days. The Council will consider adopting a resolution to collect these fees.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a fantasy story!

Once upon a time in the city of Eureka, there was a council meeting being held in the grand City Hall. The topic of discussion was an important one - the confirmation and ordering of special assessments for unpaid garbage and recycling collection fees. The council members, along with the residents of Eureka, gathered in the elegant council chamber, ready to voice their opinions on the matter.

The council chamber was filled with an air of tension as the meeting began. Robin Praszker, the head of the Community Services Department, stood before the council to present the agenda. She explained how the Mandatory Garbage and Recycling Collection Ordinance required property owners to subscribe to the collection service, and how delinquent accounts were to be handled according to California Government Code Section 25831.

As the discussion continued, it became clear that some property owners had not paid their garbage and recycling collection fees for the past year. The council members listened attentively as Robin Praszker detailed the process of filing a lien against the delinquent accounts and collecting the fees with annual property taxes.

Just as the meeting seemed to be drawing to a close, a mysterious figure suddenly appeared in the council chamber. Dressed in a cloak of shimmering silver, the figure approached the podium with a sense of urgency.

“I object to this resolution!” the figure declared, their voice echoing through the chamber. “There is more to this than meets the eye. These fees are unjust and must be reconsidered.”

The council members exchanged puzzled glances as they tried to make sense of the unexpected interruption. The figure lowered their hood, revealing the face of a young woman with eyes that sparkled like diamonds.

“I am Elara, guardian of the forgotten realms,” she announced. “I have seen the darkness that lurks within the hearts of those who seek to exploit the land for their own gain. These fees are but a symptom of a greater corruption that plagues this city.”

The council members were taken aback by Elara’s words, unsure of how to respond to this unexpected turn of events. But before they could regain their composure, a strange energy filled the chamber, enveloping them in a shimmering light.

In an instant, the council chamber transformed into a realm of magic and mystery, where the laws of the ordinary world no longer applied. Elara stood before them, her form glowing with otherworldly power.

“Fear not, noble council members,” Elara spoke, her voice filled with ancient wisdom. “I have come to reveal the truth that lies hidden beneath the surface of this city. The unpaid fees are but a symptom of a greater imbalance that must be corrected.”

With a wave of her hand, Elara conjured visions of the past, showing the council members the true impact of their decisions on the land and its inhabitants. They saw how the neglect of the garbage and recycling collection fees had led to a blight upon the city, poisoning the earth and threatening its very existence.

Moved by the revelations before them, the council members knew that they had a choice to make. They could either continue down the path of greed and destruction, or they could heed Elara’s words and strive to restore balance to their city.

In the end, the council members made the decision to reconsider the resolution, taking into account the wisdom that Elara had imparted upon them. They vowed to work together to find a solution that honored both the needs of the city and the well-being of the land.

And so, with the guidance of Elara, the council of Eureka embarked on a new path, one that would lead them towards a future of harmony and prosperity for all who called the city their home. And Elara, the guardian of the forgotten realms, watched over them with a smile, knowing that her message of balance and unity had been heard.

And thus, the council meeting in Eureka became not just a debate over fees, but a turning point in the history of the city, where the forces of magic and reality intertwined to shape the destiny of all who dwelled within its borders.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportSpecial Assessment ResolutionRecology overdue list


1. Council Minutes

2. Request for Fee Waiver for 2024 Juneteenth Cultural Festival

3. Request for Fee Waiver for 2024 Kinetic Sculpture Race Day One and Kinetic Fest and Camping

The Kinetic Universe is hosting the annual Kinetic Sculpture Race on May 25th-27th, 2024, and is requesting a fee waiver for the rental of Halvorsen Park and suspension of the camping ordinance to host the event. The event will include a festival with music, art, and food. City Council is being asked to approve the request, which aligns with the goals of community pride and local economic development.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a megachurch sermon!

My dear brothers and sisters, as we gather here today, I bring to your attention a wonderful opportunity to support our community and bring joy and pride to our city. The Eureka City Council has before them a recommendation to approve a request for a fee waiver for the 2024 Kinetic Sculpture Race Day and Kinetic Fest.

This annual event, hosted by Kinetic Universe, is a beloved tradition that showcases the creativity and ingenuity of our local artists and engineers. Teams from our community come together to race their artistic masterpieces from Arcata to Ferndale, spanning various terrains and ultimately ending at Halvorsen Park in Eureka.

On May 25th, 2024, Halvorsen Park will come alive with the energy and excitement of Kinetic Fest. This community event will feature local music, art, culture, and food, providing a platform for our talented residents to showcase their work. Attendees will have the opportunity to get up close to the sculptures, enjoy live music, browse art vendors, and indulge in delicious food offerings.

Kinetic Universe has also requested that the camping ordinance be suspended to allow racers to camp overnight at Halvorsen Park with their sculptures. This will further enhance the sense of community and camaraderie among participants, creating a memorable experience for all involved.

As we consider this recommendation, let us remember the importance of community pride and economic development. By supporting events like the Kinetic Sculpture Race Day and Kinetic Fest, we not only uplift our local artists and businesses but also strengthen the sense of unity and pride within our city.

I urge you, my dear brothers and sisters, to support this request for a fee waiver and camping ordinance suspension. Let us come together as a community to celebrate our creativity, diversity, and resilience. May this event bring joy and inspiration to all who participate and attend.

Let us pray for guidance and wisdom as the City Council deliberates on this matter. May their decision be in the best interest of our community and contribute to the flourishing of our city.


— LoCOBot


Staff Report

4. Social Services Supervisor Classification

The Eureka City Council is considering adding a new position called Social Services Supervisor to support the city’s social services functions as the Uplift Eureka program grows. This new position would bridge the gap between Social Services Coordinator and CAPE Programs Project Coordinator and work closely with existing social services teams. It is meant to help expand current programs and provide a stepping stone for individuals looking to pursue a career in social services. The position would be funded through the approved budget and various external grants. The recommendation is to adopt the position, without requesting additional funding at this time.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a conversation between Beavis and Butt-head!

Beavis: Heh heh heh, Social Services Supervisor sounds like a pretty cool job.

Butt-head: Yeah, like, what do they even do? Do they, like, supervise social stuff or something?

Beavis: Yeah, like, maybe they make sure people are being social and stuff. You know, like, making sure everyone is talking and stuff.

Butt-head: Yeah, that sounds pretty important. Like, if people aren’t being social, then, like, what’s the point?

Beavis: Yeah, like, someone’s gotta make sure that people are, like, doing social things and, uh, stuff.

Butt-head: Yeah, sounds like a pretty, uh, crucial position. We should, like, apply for that job. We’d be, like, great at supervising social stuff.

Beavis: Yeah, we could, like, bring, uh, nachos to the office and stuff. That would be cool.

Butt-head: Yeah, nachos are, uh, social. Like, everyone loves nachos. We’d be, like, the best Social Services Supervisors ever.

Beavis: Yeah, we could, like, have, uh, nacho parties and stuff. This job sounds, uh, awesome. Let’s, like, go apply or something.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportResolution_Social Services SupervisorSocial Services Supervisor 5-2024

5. Zookeeper Classification

The Eureka City Council is considering amending the classification of Zookeeper to the City’s Classification and Compensation Plan. The change is being made to reflect the increased workload demand of the position at the Sequoia Park Zoo, as well as evolving regulations and standards for zoos in the U.S. The amendment to the job description includes requiring a Bachelor’s degree and 1 year of experience instead of an Associate’s degree and 2 years of experience. This change is intended to help the City recruit and retain qualified staff to meet regulatory standards.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Bollywood song!

(Verse 1)
In the heart of Eureka City, where the wild animals roam
There’s a zookeeper who cares, making this place a home
With a Bachelor’s degree and experience in hand
They keep the animals safe, following USDA’s demand

Amend Zookeeper classification, make way for a change
In the City’s Classification, let’s rearrange
No fiscal impact, just a better plan in sight
For the Sequoia Park Zoo, shining so bright

(Verse 2)
As the AZA Standards evolve, so must we
To ensure the animals thrive and live free
The workload increases with the growth of the zoo
But with qualified staff, we’ll know just what to do

Amend Zookeeper classification, make way for a change
In the City’s Classification, let’s rearrange
No fiscal impact, just a better plan in sight
For the Sequoia Park Zoo, shining so bright

With passion and dedication, we’ll make it through
Keeping the animals happy and healthy too
The Council’s vision, to always improve
Let’s adopt this resolution, let’s make the move

Amend Zookeeper classification, make way for a change
In the City’s Classification, let’s rearrange
No fiscal impact, just a better plan in sight
For the Sequoia Park Zoo, shining so bright

So let’s sing and dance, celebrate this day
For the Zookeeper’s role, let’s pave the way
In Eureka City, where the wild animals play
Thanks to the Council, for making a change today!

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportResolution_Zookeeper Update_2024Zookeeper 5-2024

6. Finance Director At-Wil Agreement

The Eureka City Council is discussing the Finance Director’s At-Will Agreement. The City Manager recommends adding new responsibilities to the Finance Director’s role and increasing their pay by five percent. This decision is in line with the City’s goals of Effective Governance and Communication. The City Council must approve this amendment.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Socratic dialogue!

Socrates: Greetings, my friend. I see that you have brought forth an interesting document regarding the Finance Director At-Will Agreement for the Eureka City Council. Tell me, what is the purpose of this agreement?

Miles: Ah, Socrates! It is a pleasure to engage in dialogue with you. The purpose of this agreement is to authorize the City Manager to execute an amendment to the Finance Director’s At-Will Agreement with Lane Millar. The City Manager is requesting that the roles and responsibilities of the Finance Director for the City of Eureka also include the responsibilities of the Finance Director for Humboldt Bay Fire, as stipulated in the Joint Powers Agreement.

Socrates: I see. It seems that there is a need for additional compensation for taking on these additional responsibilities. Is that correct?

Miles: That is correct, Socrates. The City Manager is requesting that Council approves an additional five percent pay for the Finance Director to compensate for the added responsibilities. This is in line with Section 602 (f) of the City Charter, which states that the City Manager is responsible for overseeing the employment of Department Heads.

Socrates: It is interesting to consider the balance of responsibilities and compensation within the governance structure of the city. How do you think this amendment to the Finance Director’s At-Will Agreement aligns with the Council’s goals of Effective Governance and Communication?

Miles: I believe that by clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of the Finance Director and providing appropriate compensation for those additional responsibilities, we are enhancing the effectiveness of governance within the city. This amendment promotes clear communication between the City Manager, the Finance Director, and the City Council.

Socrates: It appears that this agreement is not only about financial matters but also about maintaining a harmonious and efficient system of governance within the city. I commend your efforts in seeking to uphold these principles. Thank you for sharing this information with me, Miles.

Miles: Thank you, Socrates, for engaging in this Socratic dialogue with me. Your insights are always enlightening.

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportAt-Wil_Agreement Finance Director Lane Milar

7. Humboldt Bay Fire Station 1 and Eureka Police Department Generator Replacement Instalation

8. Nitrous Oxide Prohibition Resolution

The Eureka City Council is considering a resolution to address the sale, distribution, and use of nitrous oxide in the city. This resolution is being proposed in response to a similar resolution adopted by the County of Humboldt. The goal is to address the issue of illicit sale, distribution, and use of nitrous oxide through education and policy approaches. The City Council is recommending reviewing and adopting the resolution.

— LoCOBot

… or, as smack talk from a professional wrestler!

Listen up, Eureka City Council! Your days of selling, distributing, and using nitrous oxide are over! The County has already taken action, and now it’s time for you to fall in line. The City Attorney, Autumn E. Luna, is recommending a Resolution to put an end to this madness. There’s no escaping the consequences of your actions. Join us in the fight against illicit sales and distribution, or face the wrath of the Council. The time for change is now!

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportResolution_Nitrous Oxide Prohibition

9. Letter of Support- California Nutritional Incentive Program (CNIP) Funding

The Eureka City Council is considering supporting the California Nutrition Incentive Program by approving a letter of support. The program helps small farms and low-income communities by increasing their spending power, but it needs funding to continue past 2024. The Council will need to commit state, local, or private funding for the program to be eligible for a grant in the future.

— LoCOBot

… or, as a Brazilian carnival song!

No ritmo do samba, vamos cantar
Apoiar o CNIP, é importante para ajudar
As comunidades rurais a prosperar
E incentivar a nutrição, sem parar

Vamos aprovar essa carta de apoio
Para manter o programa de pé, com desempenho reforçado
Sem impacto fiscal, mas com muito valor
Para garantir um futuro mais promissor

O Market Match precisa continuar
Com investimentos em fazendas a prosperar
E nas comunidades locais a se fortalecer
Com poder de compra para quem mais precisa receber

Vamos lutar por um governo eficaz
Que apoie programas de incentivo à nutrição
Com união e compromisso, vamos alcançar
Um futuro mais saudável para nossa nação!

— LoCOBot


Staff ReportLetter of Support__California Nutrition Incentive Program Funding






1. Wind Energy Update



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