Price of trash collection to rise

Published 12:59 am Thursday, April 17, 2008

NATCHEZ — The price of trash collection in Adams County is about to go up.

Wednesday morning the Adams County Board of Supervisors met in executive session to vote on a new garbage collection contract.

Board President Henry Watts said the meeting needed to be conducted in executive session due to possible litigation. County officials only commented after the meeting.

Email newsletter signup

Trash collection will go up by approximately $54 a year starting in June. A five-year contract agreed upon with Preferred Transport, LLC, will raise the cost of trash collection from $8.50 to $13 per month.

But an accidental omission on the county’s part when they advertised for bids could have lowered the amount of the increase, said Supervisor Darryl Grennell, who voted against the contract.

County Administrator Cathy Walker said the advertisement for bids should have included an option that would have allowed pick-up once per week without a standardized trashcan.

Instead the only included options were collection once a week with a standardized can and twice a week with no standardized can.

Walker said the omission was only realized Wednesday morning when the board met with Louis Jones, co-owner if Preferred Transport.

The bid voted on by the board allows for collection twice weekly at a cost of $13 per month.

Even though the ads didn’t not ask for it, Preferred Transport offered the once a week option for $9.50 a month.

But because the board had not fairly advertised the option to other waste management companies, they could not legally accept the low offer from Preferred Transport.

Of the three bids the county received Preferred Transport was the only company to include the once a week sans-can option.

Supervisor Mike Lazarus said had the county voted on an option not listed on the bid the county could have opened itself for possible litigation.

However that’s why Grennell said he suggested all bids be rejected and the project be re-bid.

But Lazarus said had the project been re-bid Preferred Transport could have easily raised the bid since it was already known to be lower than the other bids the county received.

While any option the supervisors voted on would have raised the price of trash collection, Grennell said he voted against the new contract because it seemed excessive.

“I just don’t think it’s something people can afford right now,” he said.

Lazarus said while a price increase was inevitable it was regrettable.

“The price of doing business has gone up,” he said. “I wish we could do it for free.”

Jones said the price of fuel was a contributing factor to the increased cost of collection.

In 2003 when Jones first contracted with the county diesel was .89 cents a gallon.

“Now it’s $4.09,” he said. “The price of fuel affects everything we do.”

Preferred Transport’s contract with the county expires at the end of May, once signed it will be extended for five years.

S.E. “Spanky” Felter said he felt the county was still getting a fair deal.

“People in the city pay $16.80 for their collection,” he said.

While the contract has not yet been finalized, supervisor Lazarus said it needs only to be signed.