City seeks AG opinion on trash collection contract
Published 12:18 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017
NATCHEZ — City officials are seeking an opinion from the Attorney General’s office to determine the legality of reentering a waste collection agreement with Waste Pro.
Without the AG’s approval and the city successfully negotiating a new agreement with Waste Pro, the city’s garbage collection contract will end on Nov. 30 with no alternative plan in place.
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By Mississippi law, the city cannot enter into a new contract without following the proper bid procedures. The city apparently is seeking an exception based on the potential emergency situation in which city leaders have created.
Following a Monday morning meeting with Waste Pro officials, Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said the city would like to enter into a short-term agreement with the company until the city is able to put out a request for proposal (RFP) and consider services from other organizations as well.
“(City Attorney) Bob (Latham) is checking with the Attorney General’s office to see if we can do a four-month (deal) with Waste Pro until we can get RFPs out, and we’ll go from there,” Grennell said. “If we can get the blessings of the AG’s office, I can call a board meeting and try to move as expeditiously as possible with the RFP process.”
As for rates, Grennell said he would do everything in his power to keep residents’ prices the same, though that might require temporarily eliminating pickup for recyclables.
“We’re trying our very, very best to keep the rates the same … We might just have to hold off on recycling for a couple months — and by that I mean in terms of pickup service — in order to keep rates the same,” he said.
Grennell said he is trying to figure out a site where residents could bring recyclable items for collection if curbside pickup becomes not feasible.
These plans are contingent upon the AG’s feedback, which to Grennell’s knowledge had not been received as of Monday evening.
Waste Pro Regional Vice President of the Miss-Lou Randy Waterlander said he felt Monday’s meeting went well, but he declined any further comment until the two sides tie up “loose ends.”
Waterlander said he would have more to say about the matter today.
Though at that time Ward 3 Alderwoman Sarah Smith said the city must enter into a month-to-month arrangement with Waste Pro while the city begins the RFP process, no such agreement has been reached to date.
Smith Monday said she believes the two sides would be able to work out an agreement, though she did not want to comment on specifics of the meeting until after the city hears from the AG’s office.
Latham could not be reached for comment.