February 20, 2018 10:49:47 AM
Oktibbeha County supervisors voted to hold off on making a decision on a new waste service provider after reviewing three bids during a Monday meeting.
Supervisors unanimously voted in December to authorize County Administrator Emily Garrard to advertise for bids for new waste services after expressing ire with the current service provided by Golden Triangle Waste Management.
The county received bids from three companies -- Arrow Disposal Service Inc., Waste Management and WastePro -- earlier this month.
On Monday, supervisors discussed the bids with representatives of the three companies.
The decision to select a new service provider got put off, in part, because Waste Management included recycling information that was not part of its original bid.
Waste Management's bid calls for $13.64 per household per month for weekly trash pickup. Garrard said the company did not submit a bid for recycling.
Arrow's bid is $9.22 per month per household for weekly pickup, and $1,800 per month for recycling service in the county.
WastePro's bid is $13.72 per household per month for weekly pickup and $1,800 per month per haul for recycling service to the county.
County residents currently pay $13 per month for weekly pickup from Golden Triangle Waste Management, which does not provide recycling service.
A summary sheet supervisors had at the table Monday said Waste Management provides drop-off recycling service at no additional cost to the county.
During the meeting, Arrow Vice President of Governmental and Public Affairs Jimmie Moore said Waste Management didn't originally bid for recycling.
"Well we've included it," said Waste Management's Kerry Howell.
Howell noted that the no charge included on the sheet is for a single recycling drop off point that the company could service once a month. He said having to do more than that would likely carry some cost.
District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard said that, in light of the included information, he was hesitant to move forward on a decision without County Attorney Jack Brown, who was absent from Monday's meeting.
"That's why I say we need to wait until our attorney's present, because of things like that," Howard said. "If it was no-bid at the bid opening, then it was included afterwards, then that's not right."
Garrard told The Dispatch the inclusion, which was new information to her when discussed at the table on Monday, could cause the county to call for a re-bid, if supervisors decided to go with Waste Management. She noted supervisors don't have to choose the lowest bid, but can pick what they think is the best bid overall.
"You can't make that change afterwards, normally," she said. "That's something Jack has to decide on."
Garrard also cautioned supervisors against moving ahead with a decision without Brown present during the meeting.
Supervisors will likely have to wait about a month to make a decision, as some members of the board will be absent from the March 5 meeting to attend a conference.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact Waste Management's offer on recycling will create, as recycling services seems to carry different weight with supervisors. District 1 Supervisor John Montgomery, for example, said keeping costs down is his primary concern and recycling, while nice to have, isn't a requirement for him.
District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller, however, said she views recycling as an important part of the bids.
"To me, recycling is important," Miller said. "The landfills are filling up quickly. I think people want other options. It's something that, you know, we don't have that option in this county. To me, recycling is very important and I've had lots of people in my district that are interested in recycling."
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