The privatization conversation that PublicCEO discussed earlier this week continues, this time as Fresno looks to privatize the city’s solid waste services.

Instead of costing the city money, Mayor Swearengin’s plan to use a private company for the service could bring in $2.5 million per year. That goes a long way to cut into the $18.5 million remaining budget gap.

Opponents of the plan say that privatizing will cost the city more than can be found in a dollars and cents equation. There’s a value to the service the city provides, and by outsourcing that service, opponents argue it leaves residents vulnerable to rate increases or changes to service.

From CBS 47 KGPE:

Public utilities and public works took center stage during budget workshops held at City Hall on Wednesday.

As part of Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s plan to close a projected budget shortfall of $18.5 million for fiscal year 2012, she’s asking the city council to privatize the city’s commercial solid waste service. A similar proposal was rejected back in January. The move would generate millions of dollars in franchise fees for the city’s general fund, Swearengin said.

“We’re down to the last $18.5 million dollars. There are very few easy choices left,” Swearengin said.

Read the full article here.