Ahoskie awards trash collection contract

Published 8:01 am Thursday, May 16, 2013

AHOSKIE – Change is inevitable.

With the beginning of a new fiscal year less than two months away, town of Ahoskie officials opted to solicit proposals for its lucrative Solid Waste Service contract, one that typically is in excess of $250,000 annually.

At their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, members of the Ahoskie Town Council formally selected one of the two companies bidding for this contract.

Waste Industries was the lower of the two bidders. Their offer of providing the garbage removal service in town was priced at $22,770 per month (or $10.35 per unit). In a 5-0 vote, Town Council members accepted that offer.

The other bid came from the town’s current Solid Waste removal provider – GDS (Republic Services). They offered a monthly price of $23,188 ($10.54 per unit) to continue to serve the town.

Town Manager Tony Hammond said it had been five years since the town sent out an RFP (Request for Proposal) for this particular contract. The RFP was submitted by the internet to 12 companies that provide similar services in eastern North Carolina. Waste Industries and GDS were the only two companies to submit sealed bids, which were opened April 30 at the Ahoskie Town Hall.

According to the RFP, those wishing to submit a bid were required to service town-owned buildings at no cost, provide vintage trash containers on Main Street at no cost, provide residential trash pick-up once a week, provide 96-gallon roll-out recycle carts at no cost to each of the town’s 1,984 pick-up points (the units; residential/small business customers) and collect those recycled items every two weeks, and provide a computer software program for tracking purposes.

“That tracking program allows us to know when somebody moves in, it gives us the ability to know what cart, by serial number, is assigned to that address,” Hammond said. “I can tell by look at that tracking program if someone has pulled a cart from one house to another, trying to get two carts for the price of one.”

Even though the council opted to go with another company, Hammond said he had no issues with GDS.

“We’ve had a good history with GDS over the years,” he noted. “This is just about the bottom line, the numbers. We’re trying to conserve as much money as we can, anywhere we can.”

Hammond did note that the per unit price by either bidder would actually come out a bit lower.

“For planning purposes, based on expected growth in town, I gave both companies 2,200 units to be serviced,” he said. “We do not have that many units right now, so the actual monthly cost is based on the number of units we have active at any given time.”

The new contract also saves the town some time and effort to deliver the roll-out containers to new customers or pick-up the ones after an account has closed. Waste Industries will handle that chore. The town had to handle both under its contract with GDS.

The town will still handle the payment of the landfill fees. Hammond said that was easier than paying the contractor to cover those fees.

“It gives us a true accounting of what we’re paying the landfill every year,” he said. “It also helps with the budgeting process – one fee for the Solid Waste contract and another for the landfill fee.”

Hammond added that the town’s Solid Waste removal customers would see no difference in the service. He did note that there will be two roll-out containers of different colors – one for regular trash and the other for recyclables.

The only major possible change will be trash collection days. Currently, pick-up is performed on Wednesday on one side of town and Friday on the other. Hammond is proposing to divide the town into four quadrants with trash collection (per area) on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Details of that plan are forthcoming.

In another matter, council members approved a service contract to Wish I Had A Maid, Inc. for $15,199 annually to provide cleaning/housekeeping to the Town Hall, Police Department, Fire Department, and the Ahoskie Library.

Wish I Had A Maid, Inc. submitted the lowest of the four bids received.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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