Mayor and aldermen hope to make decision on garbage contract at Tuesday meeting

Published 3:58 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said Tuesday he thinks Natchez citizens will be pleased once a final rate for garbage collection is agreed upon.

The mayor and Board of Aldermen shared proposals it received from four companies hoping to earn the garbage collection and disposal business from the city.

Gibson said after seeing all the proposals, he thinks the final decision will be good news to the city’s residents.

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“I was concerned we would see a very large increase and I am encouraged, after seeing these proposals, that perhaps a small increase will be necessary, but now what some were expecting,”  Gibson said.

The city held a second special meeting on Tuesday after meeting and going over proposals in closed session on Monday. At Monday’s meeting, the mayor and aldermen also began negotiations with Jimmie Moore, vice president of Arrow Disposal Services, which they said proposed the lowest rates.

Shortly after Monday’s meeting, Gibson said he learned discussing the issue in a closed session was against state laws. The Tuesday meeting was an effort to correct the city’s error.

Proposals from each company vying for the city’s business — Arrow Disposal, Hometown Waste, Waste Management, and Waste Pro — were distributed to those at Tuesday’s meeting.

Arrow Disposal proposed $21.94 per month per household for twice-per-week garbage collection and once-per-week recycling collection with it providing carts for each for residents. Those rates are based on serving approximately 5,600 households in the city. That totals $1,480,950 per year for collection only.

Arrow’s cost per household for the same service and disposal of waste collected is $25.44 per month per household or $1,717,200 annually.

Because the matter was first discussed behind closed doors on Monday, Gibson encouraged all who submitted proposals to present new rates if they thought they could do better.

“If you sharpen your pencil and can do better, convey that to the city clerk by Friday. We hope to decide at Tuesday’s board meeting,” Gibson said.

He said during the second closed meeting Monday night, aldermen sought a rate from Arrow for collecting “white goods,” which he said are unwanted appliances and furniture, as well as landscape debris.

“We also asked them for a schedule for picking those things up, like once a week or once a month or twice a month,” he said.

Aldermen also wanted to know the cost per ton for disposing of city garbage at a landfill, as well as which landfill would be used.

“Preferably our local rate would be used,” Gibson said.

Aldermen also asked Moore of Arrow Disposal to consider a cap on consumer price index increases in the contract, as well as to do away with a fuel adjustment charge.

All of the garbage collectors have until noon Friday to reconsider their proposals and get them to McKenzie.