Supervisor Kevin Wilson: County residents not happy about new garbage contract

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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NATCHEZ — County Supervisor Kevin Wilson made one more effort this week to get the county to reconsider or renegotiate the contract for county trash collection.

At its March 7 meeting, supervisors accepted the bid of United Infrastructure Services for its garbage collection.

Supervisor Kevin Wilson

That contract allows for garbage to continue to be collected twice per week in the county, but at an enormous price increase which will likely be passed along to county residents.

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United Infrastructure Services is the new company formed by the now bankrupt Metro Services, which the county contracted with previously for garbage collection.

“I think we still haven’t cleared up what we are going to do about the trash issue,” Wilson said. “I have gotten calls from people who have filed reports about this with the attorney general. The state auditor’s office has been contacted. I have gotten many calls from people who don’t want to see their garbage rates go up that much. They want to go to one day collection or to negotiate the contract.”

Supervisor Angela Hutchins, who was in favor of contracting with United Infrastructure Services, said, “I did talk with them last week and they said they just couldn’t do anything.”

The same people who were involved with Metro Services are operating United Infrastructure.

Wilson asked if the county is requiring a performance bond on United Infrastructure. County Attorney Scott Slover said such a request was not part of the requests for proposals.

“The performance bonds are common on contracts in garbage, but this county has never required one,” Slover said. “They (companies) basically charge it back to you in their bid.”

Supervisor Ricky Gray said such a bond was not needed.

“This is Natchez, Mississippi, not Jackson,” he said. “I’ve been researching this and Jackson trash has gone up to the point that it’s going to be $30 (a month). Rankin County is in the $30s. Madison County is in the $30s. We’ve seen what has happened to the City of Natchez with the asphalt. Everything has gone up.”

Gray said the county has made many positive improvements without raising taxes.

“We’ve been doing things without raising anybody’s taxes at all. I understand it sounds like a lot, but once all of these other counties start bidding on trash, it’s going to be way higher than Adams County,” Gray said.

The county supervisors have yet to discuss exactly what the increase to county residents will be. However, garbage collection charges to the county in the new contract are moving from $19 per month to $26.66 per month per residence in the county.

Gray asked President Warren Gaines to end the discussion on the garbage issue.

“Let’s move on because this is something we have already voted on and it isn’t going to change,” he said.

Wilson said the issue was handled poorly and he was discussing it as part of his supervisor’s report.

“I’ve had lots of complaints. Lots of people are upset. Being a business man, when you don’t even try to negotiate, it looks bad in the eyes of the public,” he said. “I have done my job. I’ve tried everything in the world to make sure we did the right thing. I don’t think we did and I’m going on record saying that.”