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October 31, 2014

Pell City Council likely to approve garbage contract extension

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Posted: Saturday, July 26, 2014 10:00 pm

PELL CITY – The City Council is expected to approve a one-year contract extension for residential and commercial garbage pickup at Monday night’s meeting.

Council President James McGowan told the council at Thursday’s work session that city officials met with representatives with Advanced Disposal Services last week and worked out a tentative one-year agreement.

Initially the company agreed to provide the city with residential garbage pickup services on a month-to-month basis, as long as the city agreed to a 3-year contract for commercial garbage pickup.

McGowan and other council members did not want to lock the city into a three-year contract with one company for commercial garbage pickup and another one for residential garbage pickup.

He said one company needed to handle both residential and commercial pickup for the city, and Councilwoman Dot Wood said the city would probably get a better bid price by offering companies the city’s residential and commercial garbage pickup service together.

Officials also said the city had received numerous complaints about residential garbage pickup, so the council tabled a decision to approve the initial proposal.

Councilman Jay Jenkins said city received more than 800 complaints about residential garbage pickup between January and June.

McGowan said the one-year extension will give the company an opportunity to respond to some of the problems the city repeatedly gets complaints about.

City officials are also considering bringing the residential garbage pickup service in-house.

Jenkins asked City Manager Patrick Draper if he could get a cost analysis of how much it would cost the city to provide its own garbage pickup service.

However, not every council member wants the city to get into the garbage business.

“I think it would be a horror story,” Wood said.

Sharon Thomas said she would like to at least see how much it would cost the city to provide residential garbage pickup, and whether the city could provide the service at a lower rate to residents.

Jenkins said two Alabama cities canceled their garbage pickup contracts and brought the service in-house. He said those two cities were able to make money, and the cities had more control in responding to customer complaints.

“Why wouldn’t you want to look at the numbers first?” Jenkins asked.

City officials said the one-year extension will provide time to examine all of the city’s options.

The city’s contract with Advanced Disposal Services expires Thursday.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

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