Ben Hillyer/The Natchez Democrat — Waste Management employee Steve White collects garbage on Merrill Street in Natchez Monday. After a Monday vote by city leaders, the company will no longer handle pickup in the city.

Mayor breaks tie, votes for garbage

Published 12:06am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that residents will be charged an additional fee for curbside recycling. City Attorney Hyde Carby said Tuesday he misspoke Monday about the fee and said curbside recycling will be provided to residents at no additional cost.

NATCHEZ — After 30 minutes in executive session and four different motions made by three aldermen, the city awarded waste collection and disposal contracts at a specially called meeting Monday.

The collection contract was awarded to Waste Pro USA, and the disposal contract to Riverbend Environmental Services for a yearly rate of $785,250 combined.

But comparing the numbers at face value, that may have not been the cheapest offer on the table, and Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith and Ward 5 Alderman Mark Fortenbery voiced concerns that the city did not go with Waste Management’s combined collection and disposal contract for $764,730.

Fortenbery made the first motion to go with Waste Management’s combined collection and disposal contract. The motion failed with Ward 1 Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis, Ward 2 Alderman Rickey Gray, Ward 4 Alderman Tony Fields and Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard voting against it.

The board voted after a 30-minute executive session during a specially called meeting Monday.

Fortenbery and Smith voted for the motion.

Dillard then made a motion to award the collection contract to Waste Pro USA that passed 4-2 with Fortenbery and Smith voting against the motion.

Dillard also made a motion to award the disposal contract to Waste Management saying he believed it was the best deal. The motion failed, then after discussion, was seconded by Fortenbery.

Mathis, Gray and Fields voted against the motion. Smith, Fortenbery and Dillard voted for the motion.

Mathis first declined to vote and then voted against the motion after the other aldermen voted.

Fortenbery and Smith said they did not understand how Mathis could listen to the other aldermen vote then decide how she was going to vote.

Fortenbery said Mathis’ move to not vote when it was her turn should have counted as an abstention from voting.

“That’s not right,” he said.

Mayor Butch Brown broke the tie by voting against the motion.

Gray then made a motion to award the disposal contract to Riverbend Environmental Services. The company’s landfill is located in Jefferson County.

Mathis, Gray and Fields voted for the motion, and Smith, Fortenbery and Dillard voted against the motion.

Brown broke the tie by voting for the motion.

Overall, the city will be saving approximately $57,000 annually with the two new contracts compared to what they paid with Waste Management in the past.

Awarding the collection contract to Waste Management could have added an additional $20,000 to the savings, but Brown said he believes Waste Pro USA was the right choice for the city.

Brown said he was impressed by Waste Pro’s commitment to community service, as well has the “newness” the company will bring to city waste services as far as new equipment and management.

Fortenbery and Smith said they believed the other aldermen were overlooking the math of the contracts and the fact that Waste Management has been a good corporate citizen for many years.

Fortenbery said he did not know what motivated the other aldermen to vote the way they did, but he said he was simply looking at the numbers.

Ben Hillyer/The Natchez Democrat — Ward 5 Alderman Mark Fortenbery leans back in frustration after his motion to contract with Waste Management for garbage collection and disposal failed on a 4-2 vote.

“I thought that’s what we were put into place for was to save the taxpayers some money,” he said.

But that was not really the goal, Brown said.

“We’re not trying to change the rates (for residents),” he said. “The important thing is that we’re not increasing the rates.”

The savings the city will receive with the new contracts over what it paid last year will be used in the Natchez Public Works budget, Brown said.

For example, he said, the city needs more money spent on mosquito control, so the city can now afford to increase its mosquito control efforts without increasing fees to residents. Mosquito control is included in the monthly fee residents pay for waste collection and disposal, sewer and other services.

Dillard said although Waste Management’s numbers may look the most favorable on the surface, he was not sure they were the best choice.

Brown and Dillard both said Waste Management was unresponsive to the city’s request to include a rate for disposal to Riverbend’s landfill.

Instead of giving the best rates possible, Dillard said some of Waste Management’s numbers were based on whether the company would get both contracts.

“They would say, ‘This is what we’ll do if,’ — and that’s the problem — if we get the disposal contract,’” Dillard said.

Brown said Waste Management’s original proposal could have been thrown out because it did not follow the guidelines set out by the city by not including a rate for disposal at Riverbend.

Curbside recycling is part of the contract with Waste Pro USA. City Attorney Hyde Carby said the recycling will not be immediately implemented. He said there will be a six-month period in which Waste Pro will be setting up the recycling service and educating residents.

The recycling is optional and will be provided to residents at no additional cost.

Additionally, Brown said that splitting the contracts between two companies was beneficial.

If Waste Management was awarded the collection and disposal contracts, and the contracts’ lengths were different, Brown said the company could essentially dictate the rates to other companies for collection once the collection contract expires because the company would still have the disposal contract.

Riverbend is the better choice for the disposal contract, Brown said, because the landfill has experienced tremendous growth in the last year. Brown said he predicts that because the city receives a $1 per tonnage rebate for every new $26,000 tons of waste brought into the landfill, the city will experience savings in the per-ton rate it pays with continued growth at Riverbend.

In his opinion, Brown said he believes Waste Management has been overcharging the city.

“(Waste Management) didn’t come in and offer us any help (with rates) until they had competition,” he said.

The city was paying $30 per ton with Waste Management. The city will pay $18 per ton with new contract.

“We’ve been paying through the nose for collection and disposal since 1982,” he said. “That’s a long time to overcharge for a service.”

Brown said he has been told that any employees laid off by Waste Management will be hired by Waste Pro.

Carby said the length of the contracts will be negotiated with each company. He said a collection contract can be up to six years and a disposal contract 25 years.


  • Anonymous

    Waste Pro USA will do a great job for NatcheZ, Lincoln county and Brookhaven turned to WastePro and claim that their service is 2nd to none. Waste Management is the Big Gorilla in the game and they got caught speeding plain and simple. It was time for a change.

  • Everette Roberts

    you didn’t think ole butch would vote against joyce did ya? Heck no…….whatever joyce wants, joyce gets if butch is around!

  • Anonymous

    We’ll see how this turns out. I will say that Waste Management has done an EXCELLANT job. I always went by the saying, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”… it wasn’t broken.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about this… I thought- by state law- that a local governing body HAD to take the lowest bid on all matters. Am I wrong? If I am, could someone explain it, please?
    And I frequently have used the Sibley landfill, filling up the truck with lumber cut-offs and junk from my shop and driving down there to dispose of it. I do not relish the idea of now driving to Jefferson County to do the same.

  • LdyBreez

    Well I certainly hope that the new company will make the old employees take better care of our garbage cans. We have to purchase those, a nice one is not cheap. After I have used mine for a month, approximately 8 times, my cans have been thrown around, the wheels have come off, the top is dented where the lid no longer fits. With the wheels off the can easily tips over and neighborhood dogs get into my trash and make a huge mess. I would prefer to pay a little more and have my cans taken care of, than to have the workers toss them around and even leave them in the street. It was nice when I set my garbage out on the curb neatly in cans then came home and found my can emptied and set back on the curb either upside down or up right with it’s wheels in tact and the lid on it.

  • Anonymous

    What do you mean charging us an additional fee to recycle? Look Jesse James, you take the $57,000 savings you’re planning to steal and give to Natchez Public Works and apply it to the recycling!!! OTHERWISE this contract is not cost neutral and will increase the cost of garbage pickup for each and every household. I CAN’T BELIEVE I VOTED FOR YOU, but it certainly won’t happen again…

  • Anonymous

    You people that voted for Brown and Arceneaux-Mathis are starting to reap what they sowed. It is going to get worse.

  • cash’smomma

    Waste Pro has done an incredible job for Brookhaven. They will do the same for Natchez!

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to have to agree with Mark and Sarah on this one. Waste Management has not only been a great community partner for years, they employ many folks in this community, we know them, go to church with them. We are giving the contract to folks outside our community with a landfill that’s in another county altogether. That’s just poor poor decision making on our part and very shortsighted. Dillard has barely won either election he’s been involved in. Time to get him outta there.

  • Anonymous

    Someone needs to check into the kickbacks for the high and mighty, and Joyce the great. Has to be some sleazy foolishness involved.

  • Anonymous

    Fortenbery said he thought they were put into place to save the taxpayers money. Brown said that’s not really the goal.??? The big boy and the queen playing footsies under the table?

  • Anonymous

    No truer words were spoken, or in this case, printed. Okay, folks- you were warned. If someone cannot even be truthful where they RESIDE, then all else is subject to suspicion.

  • Anonymous

    You have a computer, look it up. Don’t expect someone else to do your homework for you.

  • Anonymous

    I know for certain that Waste Management gave Butch 15,000 , how did that work out for them .

  • Anonymous

    The bidding procedure in this case was for County and City services, one was cheaper on County (Waste Pro) the City (Waste Management). The difference was in the dumping fee, Waste Management has been screwing our eyeballs out for years on this. They were going to charge us an additional $20 to dump at their own site.

  • Anonymous

    Bellemouth1, I am just about tired of you. I advise you to back off and soon. Go peddle your crazy, obsessive, illiterate, liberalism-spewing, hatred-spilling, ramble somewhere else.

  • Anonymous

    For the folks that believe that People will lose their jobs, Most of Waste Managements drivers and helpers are Temp workers, And will never be offered a full time job. Whereas Waste Pro also uses Temp Workers after 90 days they are offered full time money and benefits. Better Company all the way around. No Driver or helper that is currently working for Waste management will be overlooked by Waste Pro. That’s a Fact! And offered better money and Jobs. And the cost of Garbage Collection in the meanwhile will NOT go up.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and btw, bellemouth1, let’s apply your antagonistic remark to all your welfare free-loading friends. They have the time, go to work!! Don’t expect the rest of the population to work and pay taxes so they can talk on their Obammy-phones, eat basket-loads of red meats and pork, and enjoy retirement without ever working.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the info, sallydatgurl. This all sounds very peculiar, though…

  • Anonymous

    You sound like a hillbilly. Hillbillies just regurgitate whatever they hear and believe is true whether or not there is any basis for believing such at all. You have no factual basis for anything you have said. I don’t have any welfare free-loading friends and I doubt you do either. You are just imagining things and projecting them on to people you don’t like.

    Urban dictionary defines hillbilly as such:

    The stereotype of a hillbilly is a person who: Is a White Southerner who owns a shotgun, goes barefoot, wears a worn out floppy hat, drinks moonshine and whiskey which he makes himself, plays the banjo or fiddle [or calliope], drives old beat up pick up trucks, has bad teeth, is poorly educated, has long a beard, wears worn out clothes and hand me downs, and is happy and content with what they have.

    Are you a hillbilly?

  • Khakirat

    I hope the county SUPS have paid attention to what has taken placed and the county has a much bigger decrease than the city!! This recycling is out of the question and if they should let them pay the taxpayers trash bill!!

  • Khakirat

    I don’t appreciate your use of the term Hillbilly because my father was a Hillbilly from West Virginia and the adjectives or descriptions have none of my father!! I have stood up for you on some of your comments and you may give me reservations writing crap as this!!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I was using the term as the stereotype of the word, not the actual good people of the Appalachians.

  • Anonymous

    You are such a hater and loser that you can’t stand others who aren’t as bad off as you.
    From now on, bellesow1, you are a non-enity. Do YOU know what that means? Look it up.
    You want to bash on me because I have convictions that are differant from yours and I voice them. Too bad. You are just like your liberal nutcase friends who want to snuff out all voices that don’t agree with them.
    People ( loosely applied to you) like you never want to discuss anything rationally. You only want to attack and make things personal. Bellesow1 , I could walk a path through you, but will not. I refuse to get on the same low , uneducated and destructive level as you.
    Bye, bye, bellesow1. You are irrelevant.

  • Anonymous

    bellesow1, you are sorry for nothing. The best part of you slid down your ….okay, I stop. I forgot, you are a non-entity.

  • Anonymous

    You’re the one that casts aspersion on people you don’t even know. If that isn’t hateful, I don’t know what is. I also know you’re a god fearing man and you better be fearful because Jesus would have thrown you out of his church if you were there.

  • Anonymous

    Hahahahahahahaha!!!! You absolutely do not know me!!! And btw, you are still making childish, immature yet HATEFUL statements without revealing who you are. Gutless coward. Enjoy your life of attacking people in an online forum, yet hiding yourself behind a username to avoid embaressment and the call to back up your slanderous ,defecation-reeking remarks. Coward. And sow, I don’t hate, and am not full of hate. I absolutely adore life and people. But , as it says in Romans, I HATE what is EVIL. Liars, abusers, slanderers, adulterers, pedophiles, bigots, racists, murderers, , and on and on, fall into that category. And you are putting yourself into that category by your words and bad attitude. Later, hater.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, bellesouth1. You DID NOT WIN. I have been the one to take the higher road. This has gotten totally out of hand. I will respect your comments and postings, and I expect you to show me the same courtesy. I have deleted most of my remarks to you, and am sorry I let it get out of hand.

  • Anonymous

    Oh you want help now? No, you dug yourself in and now you have to dig yourself out. I am NOT rescuing you now.

  • Anonymous

    Hahaha! Good-bye, bellesouth1. You are a vexation to the soul. Enjoy your life of unhappiness, but leave me alone.